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How to Set Realistic Exercise Goals

Losing motivation and drive to workout can be extremely frustrating. This slip up or struggle period can happen to even the most active and healthy people. Losing sight of workout motivation can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as an injury or life becoming way too busy. Getting back on track starts with creating achievable goals that rebuild confidence and get you back into the routine you once had with exercise. Setting goals that are too hard become overwhelming and can lead to disappointment, so finding the healthy balance that works best for you is key to creating exercise goals that you can actually achieve.

Getting over the barrier and setting new goals is a challenging task. You must refocus your mind and begin taking the steps towards your dedication to health and fitness. What works for each person varies, but here are some tips to help you set achievable, realistic goals.

  1. Set consistency goals – Being consistent about your workout doesn’t necessarily mean having a hard workout every single day, but rather this means that you have to create a schedule thats has you working out at least 3 times a week. The idea is to challenge yourself and to build on the challenge consistently, week after week and year after year. This success is the result of hard work and will not be obtained overnight. You must commit yourself to working out consistently.

  2. Understand when to increase or scale back your workout efforts – When achieving goals, it’s important to know if you’re trying to do too much, or if you’re not doing enough. Doing too much exercise can over stress your body and lead to burnout or injury, whereas not working out hard enough will effect your attitude and mentality about exercise. To build an understanding of where you currently stand means listening to your body. Ideally you want to find the balance of your exercise efforts. Here are some signs to look out for that will indicate whether you should amp up or scale back your exercise efforts*:

  • If you’ve lost sleep from evening workouts, you feel sluggish, or your resting heart rate has climbed these can be warning signs that you’re doing too much and headed for a breakdown or an unwanted exercise hiatus.

  • In contrast, if you aren’t experiencing any physical changes, you don’t feel sore, you have a stagnant or repetitive fitness routine, or you always exercise at the same low intensity, it may be time to try new workouts and increase your output.

  • When setting exercise goals that you’ll actually achieve, look to find the edge of your comfort zone, but be careful not to overstep your bounds or be too easy on yourself. Finding a happy medium is key to helping maintain a consistent effort moving forward.

  1. Track your progress – Not knowing if you are on the right track can be frustrating and even demotivating. The best is to set your goal and track all your progress so you can see your improvements. This gives you the opportunity to see if you are on track towards your goal, and also to give you extra motivation in accomplishing your achievable goals.

*For more information about this topic, check out Under Armour

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