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21

Set goals for personal fitness

FLORENCE, S.C. – Now that the 2018 Florence’s Biggest Loser competition is officially underway, we want to help those in the Pee Dee who were not able to participate still be able to live healthier by sharing fitness, nutrition and wellness tips.

If you are brand new to fitness or need some advice for breaking out of a fitness rut, check out the fitness tips below for increasing and improving your fitness activity in 2018.

Then, make sure to pick up Wednesday’s edition of the Morning News for tips for improving your nutrition and eating habits.

Set specific, realistic goals: After you have made the decision to start living healthier by starting or increasing your fitness activity, it is important to set goals for yourself. By setting goals, you give yourself something to work toward as well as a measure to see how your fitness level is progressing. When you start to make your goals, it is crucial that you make your goals specific and realistic. For example, the goal of “losing weight” is very vague. How will you know when you have lost enough weight to achieve your goal if there is not a number associated with it? A better goal would be “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to lose 5 percent of my body weight.” The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to tailor your fitness activity to achieve them. Once your goal is specific, you also want to make sure it is realistic and something you can accomplish. For example, saying “My goal is to lose 10 pounds in 10 days” is an unrealistic goal. Most people cannot lose that amount weight in that amount time safely. If you set a goal that is unreasonable, you probably will not be able to achieve it and probably will feel discourage and want to give up on fitness.

Schedule a session with a certified personal trainer: Once you know what your fitness goals are, it can help to schedule a session with a personal trainer. If you have ever stepped into a gym, you know that they are usually packed with different classes, equipment and options for working out. While having a lot of options to choose from is usually a good thing, for many of us, we do not know what classes, workouts and equipment we need to be utilizing in order to achieve our fitness goals. This is where a certified personal trainer session can be a great tool. A certified personal trainer will be able to assess your current fitness level and recommend workouts, classes and equipment that best suit your goals and are safe for you to use at your current fitness level. Certified personal trainers also will be extremely beneficial for individuals who have current or past injuries, because they will be able to recommend workouts that avoid irritating injuries, and they can also suggest workouts that will strengthen those areas once it is safe to do so.

Schedule your workout times and add accountability: Now that you have your goals and ideas for workouts, it is time to actually get in a gym and start working out. If going to the gym regularly is new for you, you might find it difficult to remember to go or you might find yourself conveniently “forgetting” to go. One tip for preventing yourself from forgetting is to schedule your workouts times and then keep yourself aware of that scheduled time in as many ways as possible. For example, you can set alarms on your phones to remind you that morning, an hour before, and ten minutes before the time you are scheduled to work out. If you are someone who prefers writing things down, you can get a fitness calendar and write your times down there or write workout reminders on post-it notes and leave them in places like your car or wallet. You can even take it a step further and find a family member or friend who can help keep you accountable. Tell them you are struggling with going to the gym and see if they will check in with you before and after your scheduled time to make sure you went. The more accountability you give yourself, the easier it will be to say “yes” instead of “no.”

Don’t be afraid to try new things: One of the great things about fitness is that there is huge selection of different ways to work out your body in order to get healthier. You can take a spin class, do a workout in a pool, run on a track, lift weights, and the list goes on and on and on. However, if you have never done one of these examples before, it can be intimidating to try since it is unfamiliar to you. Then, on top of that, you already might have a workout or class that you like doing and seems to be working well for your body. Even if you feel intimidated or you have a workout you like, is can still be extremely beneficial to work up the nerve and try a variety of new things. You might never know that you love barre classes or lifting weights unless you actually try. Plus, trying new things and diversifying your workouts can also benefit your fitness goals. Doing the same workout over and over again will only target certain muscles, and soon those muscles will become adapted. Changing up your workout, especially to something that targets different muscle groups, will help you avoid hitting a weight-loss plateau and allow you to strengthen your whole body.

Before using any of these tips or starting a new fitness regimen, make sure to set up an appointment to speak with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to let you know if you have any limitations you should be aware of or any health areas that need to be addressed before you start working out. If you change your fitness regimen or activity level without consulting your doctor, you can run the risk of causing an injury or potentially worsen an existing medical condition.

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