DEVELOPING A FITNESS PROGRAM
An important step in developing a long-term fitness
program is to determine your goals. Is your primary
goal to lose weight? Improve muscle tone? Relieve stress?
Prepare for the spring racing schedule? Knowing what
your goals are will help you develop a more successful
exercise program. If possible, try to define your personal
goals in precise, measurable terms over specific periods
of time. Examples of these goals might include:
Decrease your waistline by two inches over the next
Run the local 5K race this summer.
Get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five
days per week.
Improve your race time by two minutes over the next
Move from walking a mile to jogging a mile within the
next three months.
The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to
track your progress. If your goals are long-term, divide
them into monthly and weekly segments. Long-term goals
can lose some of the motivational benefits. Short-term
goals are easier to achieve and will allow you to see
the progress you are making. Every time you reach a
goal, it is important to set a new goal. This will lead
to a healthier lifestyle and will provide the motivation
that you will need to move forward.
Track Your Progress
Now that you have set your exercise goals, it is time
to write them down and make an exercise schedule that
will help you achieve them. By keeping a fitness diary,
you will stay motivated and know where you are in terms
of reaching your goals. As time goes on, you will be
able to look back with pride to see how far you've come.