You probably already know that setting workout goals is important, but did you realize that there are both short-term and long-term fitness goals that you need to set?
While they are very different, each one is important in its own right, and both will go a long way toward helping you achieve the body, fitness level and overall health you desire.
Here is the difference between short-term and long-term fitness goals, and what role each plays in your workouts.
What Are Some Examples Of Short-Term Fitness Goals?
A short-term goal is one that is achievable in a shorter amount of time. Some examples of short-term goals could include, "workout three times a week," "eat less carbs," "or run one mile every day."
If you already work out three times a week, vow to exercise five times a week.
Other examples of short-term goals include things like adjusting your eating habits like cutting out soft drinks, or adding extra reps onto your sets (perhaps doing 12 dumbbell biceps curls instead of 10) or adding more weight onto each set (lifting 15 pound weights for each bicep curl rather than 10).
If you are a runner, you might decide to add five minutes to your run or an extra block. Swimmers might decide to add an extra lap.
These are considered short-term goals because they are more quickly attained. You can achieve these by the end of the day, the end of the week, or the end of the month. Long-term goals, on the other hand, often take more time, more perseverance and more willpower to achieve. They are equally important, however, and shouldn't be ignored if you want to achieve your ideal fit.
What Is A Long-Term Fitness Goal?
A long-term goal is one that that you set for yourself as an end goal, one that you wish to achieve with all your workouts.
For example, do you want to lose 20 pounds? 50? 100? Obviously, this is not a short-term goal, as it is not achievable in just a couple of weeks or months. It is, however, a strong long-term fitness goal.
Long-term goals include living healthier, lowering your BMI or your cholesterol — making lifestyle changes. Your long-term goal is something you will get to by completing all of your short-term goals. If you run a bit further every week, or add an extra workout session each week, you will obviously up your calorie burn and make it to your goals, over time.
Another realistic long-term goal is setting fitness goals such as 'running a 5K' or 'running a half marathon.' If you are interested in one of these it is extremely important to set up short-term goals (like running more each week) to get you to that end, long-term goal. As you can see, short-term and long-term fitness goals go hand-in-hand.
How Can I Meet My Fitness Goals?
Once you've decided on the best short-term and long-term fitness goals for you, the next step is to plan out how you can achieve them. Schedule workout sessions on your calendar for months in advance. Go through your cabinets and throw out junk food, then hit the stores for some fresh fruit and vegetables. Consider meeting with a trusted friend once a week to discuss your progress. Accountability partners are a great way to stay on-track.
Another way to reach your fitness goals is by getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help you reach your goals through motivation and custom workouts. If you are ready to get in shape or make a lifestyle change, meet with me today. I'd love to help plan and achieve your fitness goals. You can find out more about my personal training, HERE.
Sign up for my 10-Day Fit Camp and start achieving your short-term and long-term goals!
*This post was originally published in April 2014 but has been updated and republished for the sake of accuracy and freshness.
Fasting is usually considered a gimmicky diet fad or outdated religious practice. But today, a new form of fasting has taken the dieting world by storm.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) has increased in popularity over the last several years. But is it safe?
Depriving yourself of food to lose weight can be very dangerous. However, an increasing amount of research finds there are numerous health benefits to IF.
Before you decide to give it a try, there are some things you should know.
Defining Intermittent Fasting
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting involves occasional starvation done in a systematic way.
The idea behind IF is to cycle through periods of normal eating and periods of fasting. During the fasting times, you significantly restrict calories or avoid food altogether.
Some people choose to fast during certain hours each day, while others fast one or two nonconsecutive days out of the week.
Should You Fast?
While many nutritionists are now spouting the benefits of IF, others warn against it. Here, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of fasting so you can determine if it’s right for you.
Pros Of IF
In addition to the weight loss you can experience with IF, fasting may also extend your life and improve overall health. Some studies have found that IF provides these health-boosting benefits:
Cons Of IF
With all the benefits mentioned above, you may be wondering what could possibly be wrong with intermittent fasting. While not necessarily dangerous, IF can be bad for you. For one, the focus of this type of diet is on when you eat, not what.
That means your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs and you’re more likely to binge on high-sugar, high-fat foods.
Additionally, you don’t always know how your body will react—mentally as well as physically—to such extreme calorie restrictions. You may become irritable, faint, dizzy, or suffer from headaches.
The most important thing to keep in mind about IF is that it’s not for everyone. Certain health conditions make fasting unadvisable, while others improve as a result of it.
If you choose to pursue an IF eating plan, speak with a healthcare professional first. He or she can help you determine which type of fasting will work best for your health and lifestyle.
Then, if your doctor gives the go-ahead, remember to maintain healthy eating habits. Be sure to include plenty of nutritious foods during your regular eating periods, and avoid unhealthy junk food all the time—not just during fasting phases.
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