Original Article: https://www.runnersblueprint.com/fitness-goals/
Fitness motivation naturally wanes. Some days, you look forward to your exercise routine. Other days, it’s all you can do to walk into the gym. For many people, the COVID-19 lockdowns gave their motivation an extra hit. Now, they’re finding it difficult to make working out a habit once again.
COVID’s Effect on Workout Motivation
Anytime your fitness habit is disrupted, it can impact your motivation. One day away from the gym can easily lead to two or three. Before you know it, your workout routine has become a non-workout routine. Your motivation is gone and you’re not sure how to get it back.
COVID has made it even more challenging to stay motivated. If you normally exercise at a gym, what do you do when it’s suddenly closed? If you don’t have a home gym, your options may feel limited. A survey of runners found that even home exercisers have had a lack of motivation post-pandemic.
Add to that, the increased stress that many have felt during the pandemic and it can feel easier to just sit on the couch. You lack the energy to tend to your fitness when you have other matters to attend to. Maybe you lost your job and need to look for work. Or a family member catches the virus, and you need to look after them or help pick up the slack. (ISSA) Many things have happened to all of us.
So, how do you get your motivation back and keep it?
The website, Runner’s Blue Print offers an exciting article on setting fitness goals that anyone can follow. Below is a list of these worthwhile goals.
The 10 Fitness Goals You Should Be Setting
1. Cardiovascular Goals
At a minimum, aim to spend 180 to 220 minutes every week engaging in some sort of cardiovascular exercise, whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, spinning, or simply walking.
Shoot for three to five sessions per week at an intensity at around 70 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.
2. Drink More Water
Water is essential to life—getting fit is no exception.
Make it a rule to stay well hydrated throughout the day.
Aim to drink half of your body in ounces every day.
Drink more during your intense training days and/or the summer—and remember to keep track of your hydration levels.
3. Stretch often
Although the science on the effectiveness of stretching for injury preventing and performance is still out for debate, I cannot emphasize it enough.
Regular stretching improves your range of motions, prepares your muscles and joints for intense activity, improves flexibility, and may speed up recovery as well as reduce post-workout aches and pains.
Make it a rule to lightly stretch your major muscle groups used during exercise for 6 to 8 seconds before a workout, and all major muscle groups for 30 to 45 seconds post-workout.
4. Do High-Intensity Interval Training
Steady-state cardio workouts, such as the long run, have their benefits.
But if you want to crank up your fitness to the max, add a couple of HIIT workouts to your exercise plan.
5. Strength Train
Target every major muscle group at least two to three times per week, shooting for a minimum of one to two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
6. Decrease Your Body Fat
Having a healthy BMI is one of the most vital steps to a healthier you.
When you have a low (healthy) body fat, you also lower your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, protect against diabetes, enhance the functions of joints and tendons and improve your overall appearance and self-confidence.
7. Eat More Vegetables
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few decades, then you already know that the greens are an essential ingredient in a healthy eating plan.
Eat plenty of dark, leafy vegetables as they’ll offer you a wide array of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals—all of which assist your body in performing at its best.
8. Reduce—or Altogether Eliminate—Sugar
This I cannot emphasize enough
Cutting sugar won’t cost you anything—in fact, it actually improves your health in the long run while saving you a lot of money and trouble.
What’s not to like!
9. Shoot for 10,000 Steps A Day
Besides hitting the gym and the running track, I’d also recommend that you add as much physical activity to your daily life as possible.
A good target to have to shoot for at least 10,000 steps per day.
You are not meant to sit down all day long.
Get to work and move your body.
Get a fitness tracker and start keeping track of your daily step count.
For the record, 10,000 steps per day is the equivalent of one hour’s worth of walking.
10. Shoot for 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep
This might not seem like a fitness goal, but it’s actually crucial for achieving your health vision.
Proper sleep speeds up recovery and the muscle rebuilding process as well as boost up your energy tanks for your next workout.
Following these 10 steps can help anyone overcome the post COVID workout doldrums. It is time to get motivated and ready for a more exciting lifestyle. Let’s get ready for the future!