Setting your fitness goals and how to achieve themNeema Morjaria
Much can be achieved in a month if the goals you set are SMART. When we don’t have anything specific set, or are not accountable – things can go a little off course. This can become highly frustrating if it keeps on repeating itself. So whether you wish to decrease body fat, increase muscle, improve endurance or try a new activity – let’s get SMART and see just how much can be achieved in a month.
Get active every day!
This doesn’t mean you have to run 10km each day. Movement is essential to fitness. Getting off the train or bus one stop earlier, walking to the local shops and carry your shopping home, or taking a lunchtime stroll are all great examples of daily activity. Draw up a weekly activity planner to detail what activity you plan to do each day.
Get onto a healthy eating/drinking plan
This does not mean you have to go on a diet. Look at your current eating and drinking habits and see if there are any positive changes that can be made. This includes increasing your intake of water. The reality is that not many of us drink near enough the amount of water that we should. Drinking enough water impacts everything from the amount of energy you have on a daily basis, how much hunger you feel throughout the day, your ability to concentrate, and how quickly you recover from your workout sessions.
Increase intake of fruit and vegetables. Think about incorporating a rainbow salad of vegetables with your daily meals or a veggie/fruit juice (more veggies though!). It’s a good way to experiment with different seasonal produce. Setting out to make your own lunch 3 days a week is a great start to ensuring you are on the road to a good healthy eating plan. Get experimenting and creative in the kitchen!
‘Phone a friend’
Having a buddy to train with or cook up healthy recipes with is always more enjoyable than going solo. You are also more likely to stick to it if you have someone to answer to. So grab a buddy to join you on this journey.
Sign up for a fitness event or a personal challenge
Examples of this may be registering to complete a 5/10km run or setting yourself the challenge of completing 10 full push ups. Having a specific goal like this will ensure you stick to your fitness plan. How many burpees can you do in 1 minute? Everyone loves a burpee! (Or is it just me?)
Try a new activity
Have you ever wondered what a spin class would be like? Or looked at a piece of gym equipment not knowing what it does? Now is a great time to sign up to something you have never tried before. Take a buddy and have fun. Speak to a fitness professional to learn how to use that new machine or piece of equipment in the gym. The different movement patterns of this new activity will serve to work the muscles in a manner they aren't used to and that will really improve the level of results you get from your training. Your muscles respond best to constantly changing stimuli, so the change of pace will really help to shock the system.
Improve your balance and flexibility
Now this doesn’t mean you have to become an expert yogi in a month! Improved flexibility leads to greater ease of movement, less stiffness and reduced joint pain. Short-term flexibility goals may include doing one hour of yoga/Pilates a week and ensuring sufficient warm up and cool downs before and after exercise.
Get sufficient rest and sleep
Ensure you allow yourself time to recover and get adequate sleep. Find ways of unwinding before bed that do not involve over stimulating the brain. Read a book, mediate or listen to some soothing music. These will all help your body and mind to unwind from the day’s events and allow you to fall into a restful sleep. Avoid ‘screen time’ before you turn in for the night.
It can be daunting when setting yourself any kind of goals. They key to success lies in the ability to make them SMART in the first instance. Including a mix of things you have never tried and those that are challenging will make your first month whizz by. Much can be accomplished in a month. Don't forget to have fun along the way and think about this as the start of a lifestyle change as opposed to a one off event. You will be buzzing for month two to start! Enjoying getting creative and most of all – always remember why you started the journey.
This is a guest blog post by wellness expert Neema Morjaria, a Personal Trainer at Lomax Bespoke Health. Lomax is offering Healing Holidays readers a complimentary Lomax Fitness MOT at their Chelsea space. During this one hour session, a Lomax Personal Trainer will take you through a workout to assess your fitness levels and create a bespoke plan to get you on track with your training. Email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting 'Healing Holidays' to book your MOT.