Weight loss is the most common goal for people who sign up for the gym. While it’s great to lose excess weight, don’t forget that health and fitness is so much more about getting skinny. You should make fitness goals that help you achieve a healthier lifestyle!
Obsessing on the weighing scale won’t get you a healthy body. For one, It’s NOT the only indicator of fitness. Losing weight doesn’t always mean a person is healthier (you don’t want to be skinny and unhealthy!). That’s why there are “non-scale victories” or NSV that many people strive to achieve. For instance, many weight lifters aim to gain more muscle and lose fat. This means they can get heavier, but it doesn’t mean they’re not fit. So how should you measure fitness success?
You should measure fitness success by the way it impacts your life.
Do you feel you have more energy? Do you still lose your breath when you climb the stairs? Maybe you’ve gotten stronger after doing regular workouts. Apart from weight loss, exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and balance your mental health.
What makes good fitness goals? When it comes to goal setting, SMART goals are a great guide to follow. Aim for specific, measurable, relevant and time-bound goals.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of other tangible and motivating ways to measure fitness success that don’t involve the weighing scale.
10 Fitness Goals to Focus on Besides Weight Loss
1. Step more, move more!
Counting your steps is an awesome way to encourage yourself to get moving. There’s a reason why fitness apps like StepBet is so popular, and it’s not just because people earn from it. Aiming for more steps is one of the easier fitness goals that anyone can work on. You don’t need to go to the gym, sign up for classes or adhere to strict routines. You can do it on your own time, at your own pace. Fitness Tip: You don’t need to get a fancy gadget to track your steps. Most smart phones have a health tracker (Apple Health or Google Fit) that helps you count your steps. Health experts recommend at least 10,000 steps a day. You can start now and work towards achieving it daily.
2. Move out of your exercise comfort zone.
Push your fitness goals to the next level and mix up your workouts! Do you keep doing the same exercises? Maybe you’re no longer challenging yourself in the gym. Chances are you might be bored of your exercise routine. If you notice this happening, you should definitely try mixing up your workouts. Simple things like adding another rep or a new cardio move will help increase your strength and overall fitness. Try aerobic exercises you’ve never done before. Better yet, step up you workout intensity by trying HIIT training. Already a HIIT fan? You can swap one session for a longer, steady routine. The good news is switching up your exercise activities also helps prevent injuries.
3. Work on perfecting your exercise form.
Apart from increasing workout intensity, take the time to perfect your workout form. Are you doing your planks correctly? Maybe you’re rushing through your weight lifting routine. Having trouble with that yoga pose? If these sound familiar, ask your gym buddy or fitness coach to check if you’re doing it right. Remember, doing exercises right helps you maximize your fitness goals and prevent injuries. Practicing great exercise form also increases your endurance, agility and balance.
4. Sign up for a sports event!
Motivate yourself by joining a sports event! Whether you want to lose weight or gain strength, having a tangible goal will really inspire you to do your best. Like running? Sign up for a short race. You don’t have to be the quickest, most experienced runner to join. There are also lots of running events that allow you to raise funds for charitable causes—that’s another motivating reason to run! Not into running? Check out other events like cycling, swimming or any other sports activity. Just make it a goal to join. Find an event you look forward to and push your fitness goals. Completing a sports event will surely motivate you to do better!
5. Commit to a number of times a week to workout.
Being consistent is important in achieving your fitness goals! Make a real effort to commit to your exercise routine. Aim to workout at least 3 times a week. But don’t just strive for the minimum! Make time and try to go beyond your workout goal! Maintaining a minimum exercise schedule a week helps keep you in track. This also gives you some allowance in case you’re too busy or stressed to exercise. However, one thing’s for sure: It’s a great motivating feeling when you know you’re actually exceeding your own goals.
6. Learn a new skill!
When I talk about getting out of your comfort zone, I also mean trying new things. It doesn’t always have to be about losing weight. What’s important is you like it and you’re having fun! Try to find something that makes moving enjoyable for you. Whether you want to enroll in hip hop dancing classes, martial arts or surfing, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. What’s something cool you’ve been really wanting to try? I say DO IT. It may look difficult now, but once you start, pretty soon you can do it too!
7. Prioritize planning healthy meals.
When it comes to your diet, people always focus on losing weight. However, what’s more important is actually eating healthy, balanced meals. You can fix your diet by actually planning your meals ahead so you can choose healthier options. I know; It’s easier said than done. That’s why you should strive to achieve this goal. You know the drill: avoid processed foods and eat more veggies, lean protein and high fiber foods. Finally, keep this in mind: Eating healthy isn’t about starving yourself, which is not good for your body. A healthy diet focuses on consuming nutritious meals that will help you become stronger.
8. Focus on increasing your strength.
Amp up your fitness goals by increasing your strength! While losing excess weight is important, training to get stronger has a lot of long-term benefits. Aside from not getting tired easily, it’s a great way to enhance your bone and muscle health as you age. Start by doing basic weight lifting exercises. Perfect your routine and gradually increase the weights as your strength increases. You’ll actually feel and see the difference! Added strength will also empower you to become more confident about yourself.
9. Reduce stress and make time to rest and relax.
You’ve likely heard this before, but I can’t stress it enough. Whether it’s overwork, lack of sleep, worry, or all of the above, stress can seriously take its toll on your health. Aside from getting active and maintaining a healthy diet, make time to rest and avoid unnecessary stress. Learn to prioritize your work and set definitive deadlines for your self. This will help you avoid fatigue and give you more energy to do more activities. More rest and quality sleep will also improve your mood. When you’re energized, you’re more likely to go out and exercise. This makes it easier to maintain an active lifestyle.
10. Spend more time with your loved ones.
Finally, don’t forget to spend quality time with your family. Chatting with family and friends helps ease worries and stress. Just add the fact that they always remind you to make healthier lifestyle choices. In a study by researchers in Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina, having many strong social ties can help you live longer. This research shows social ties’ impact on longevity are also similar to people who smoke or don’t smoke.
Just remember: health and fitness doesn’t just revolve around weight loss. When you set your fitness goals, keep this list in mind and try to apply them. In the end, all these tips should help you live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
What are your fitness goals? What other fitness goals will you add to your list?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
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