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A 5-step guide to setting fitness goals for the new year

It's that time of year again where New Year's resolutions often include exercise and losing weight. Whether building muscle, increasing endurance or a healthier lifestyle is what you want, goal setting is important to achieving tangible results.

Here is a 5-step guide to help you set, maintain, and achieve those fitness goals, finally!

1. Make your goals personalized and realistic and give yourself something exciting as a reward for attaining those goals. Consider the following:

a. What has and hasn't worked in the past when setting goals?

b. How much physical activity do you currently do?

c. What are some mobility issues or injuries you need to consider?

2. Your diet makes your fitness goals more quickly attainable, especially if they include weight loss.

a. Don't go on any more diets - any adjustment you make must be a

permanent one and will limit you to making changes with which

you can live

b. Eat real, recognizable food by looking at the labels. If you can't

pronounce what is in something, don't eat it

c. Include a good multivitamin in your diet to provide your body with a full

range of nutrients

3. Know your physical limits - starting a new exercise plan has the potential for injury by overdoing it. Injuries can stop your progress and set you back. Follow a workout plan that acknowledges your physical limits that can prevent common exercise injuries like:

a. Low back strains

b. Shoulder injuries

c. Knee pain

d. Tendinitis

4. Set SMART fitness goals

a. Specific – lose 30 pounds, run a ½ marathon, do 40 push-ups

b. Measurable – can you keep track of your progress – 1# a week weight

loss is trackable

c. Achievable – doing 40 push-ups in a row next week when you can’t do 1

now is not achievable but it could be in 6 months

d. Realistic - realistic goals are necessary so you won’t lose enthusiasm –

a 5-foot-tall woman won’t be able to dunk a basketball

e. Time-bound – giving yourself a specific time to complete your goals

gives you purpose and guides you to the end.

5. Celebrate small wins – it’s the journey not the destination, so enjoy the added pushups you couldn’t do last week. It adds up!

Enjoy the new year in fitness!

Strength training the middle back is part of improving yourself. This will help with posture and the associated pain related to poor posture. The Hands-Free Middle Back Strengthener will help with that.

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