NEWS How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals for the New Year

How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals for the New Year

Champaign, Illinois (WCIA)

It’s one of the most popular resolutions every new year…to exercise more. The survey also showed that most people will walk away from their decision by February. So if fitness is on your to-do list for 2023…we’ll help you keep it going.

BestReviews fitness expert Judd NeSmith is giving Gary Gelfand strategies and tools to set realistic workout goals and keep them.

How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals for the New Year

alan foster

The grass is always greener before you go. Once you’re on the other side of the fence, you realize that keeping your grass green takes effort. What no one tells you is that effort never goes away. The real trick in life is not achieving your goals, but maintaining them. That’s why it’s important to be realistic when making fitness plans for the new year.

Make fitness a habit

The beginning of any new venture is filled with enthusiasm and hope. But when you roll up your sleeves and dive in, you’re likely to throw yourself in too hard and burn out early. It’s important to remember that there is no end to a healthy lifestyle. This is something you need to do every day. With this in mind, choose a project that you can commit to for at least four to six weeks. Once you do this, the routine becomes a habit.

Admittedly, changing your lifestyle to accommodate new things can be challenging. One of the best ways to effect change is to hold yourself accountable. We recommend writing not only your goals in your fitness journal, but also your daily accomplishments. That way, when the first 42 days pass, you’ll have reason to celebrate, and you’ll be flipping through your book to find that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. At that point, you can also look in the mirror to see the results. Even better, after a month and a half, working out will become a habit, something you look forward to doing every day. “You can log your workouts, track what you’re doing. It keeps you motivated and helps you get through those four to six weeks,” says NeSmith. “After that, it’s usually downhill. It’s easier to work out and you’re more motivated.”

Most Common Fitness Goals

The most common fitness goal is easy to measure: losing weight. To that end, our fitness experts recommend only gaining 1 or 2 pounds per week. “Anything beyond that is not sustainable, you’re doomed,” NeSmith said. If you deprive your body of the nutrients it needs by eating too little, you swing the pendulum and lose weight, get hungry, eat more, and then regain the weight. Healthy weight loss is a slow and steady process.

However, to know if you’re heading in the right direction, you need data. The way to get that data is with an accurate scale that lets you track your progress and take responsibility for any mistakes along the way.

run faster

Besides losing weight, another popular fitness goal is to run faster. Granted, this goal is for those who have established a baseline level of fitness and want to improve their game. However, this is still the goal people set for the new year.

For example, if you want to reduce your 5K time, it won’t happen just by increasing your mileage. First, you need the right equipment. Running shoes are the only thing a runner has to protect himself from injury. Every time your foot hits the pavement, you feel the vibrations in your ankles, knees, hips, back and more. Running without shoes that cushion shock waves and provide support can do more harm than good.

Not sure what running shoes to buy? NeSmith recommends the Nike Pegasus. “I own this shoe. It’s what we call a running workhorse. It’s been around for 30 years,” he says. “It offers a lot of comfort. It’s a very durable shoe. Also built for high mileage.”

Second, if you want to get better, you need a coach. A running coach can watch how you move and make adjustments to your body mechanics so you can become more efficient. The trainer will also customize workouts for you to make you stronger overall.

build lean muscle

A final common fitness goal that people of all levels share is building more lean muscle. Aerobic exercise may be good for the heart, but the body functions best when it has more lean muscle. If you don’t focus on strength and conditioning training, you’ll be vulnerable to health problems. For example, in the over-50 age group, NeSmith states that at least two weightlifting workouts per week are essential, and ideally three. This helps ward off sarcopenia, an age-related condition in which individuals lose skeletal muscle mass and strength.

To make sure you’re getting the strength training workout you need, our experts recommend purchasing a set of high-quality adjustable dumbbells and using them at least 2 to 3 times a week.

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Bodyminder Workouts and Workout Logs

This workout journal is spiral bound for easy opening and writing. There’s a short section on how to best use the book, but the bulk of it gives you plenty of space to document your workout routine in detail, including finding upcoming events, and keeping track of how much you’re spending on fitness time.

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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoes

Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a breathable running shoe with a wider forefoot for extra comfort. Midfoot webbing provides a snug fit for maximum protection and responsiveness.

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Withings Body+ Smart Wi-Fi Bathroom Scale

This smart scale is the tool you need to reach your weight goals. It acts as a body fat analyzer, letting you know how much of an impact your efforts are having. The auto-sync feature means all your weight data is instantly transferred to your favorite wireless device.

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

You can’t go wrong with this set of dumbbells. Each dumbbell ranges in weight from 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs, allowing you to quickly select to customize your workout. It’s a space-saving, versatile option that can help keep you on the road to fitness.

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Alan Foster Write for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best choice for the most consumers.
Pull out: Fitness is not temporary. Eating right and exercising are things you need to do every day. That’s why it’s imperative to have a strategy that can easily become a habit.

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