Setting Health and Fitness Goals for 2013

Set Goals

New Year Resolutions – there, I said it.

The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, but you might have noticed in years past that declaring a commitment to this end rarely results in a comprehensive plan that will actually help you to reach your goal. Perhaps you sign up for a diet program and even attend a few meetings before getting too busy to go. Or maybe you take advantage of Obama care and see a doctor. Or maybe you join a gym and shell out major money for access to equipment that you never end up using.

Whatever you have done in the past, you can make 2013 the year you turn it all around.

The trick, in many cases, is not to put such an emphasis on the number you see on the scale, but rather to address your health and fitness in a way that provides you with other forms of success. So here are just a few things to consider when setting your goals for the coming year.

First and foremost, forget about weight!

Okay, so there is a lot of hubbub circulating about the obesity rate amongst adults and the concurrent rise in heart disease, diabetes, and more. But these aren’t necessarily a byproduct of your weight so much as your lifestyle.

What you really need to address is not the readout on the scale, but rather the bad habits that brought you to this pass.

Choose Healthier Foods

When you become aware of the things you’re doing (or not doing) that contribute to weight gain or a general lack of physical fitness you’ll no doubt find that it’s far easier to recognize areas that you can improve, as well as making the changes necessary to actually achieve the weight loss you’ve long dreamed of. Eating the right foods will help make your body a metabolic machine and your bones, muscles, and organs will be healthier for your efforts.

Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy should be the staples of your diet. Dairy is optional, but for those who can tolerate it, dairy provides an extra boost of calcium and casein protein.

Eat in Moderation

Weight gain is not only tied to what you eat, but how much you consume. So even if you decided to eat all of the same foods, using a smaller plate or taking only one serving at meal times could result in weight loss.

If you opt to eat a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet, as well, there’s no telling what kind of difference you could make in the way you look and feel. All it takes is 10-12 weeks to see real results from a healthy, low calorie diet.

Fitness is Still an Important Piece of the Puzzle

Of course, fitness is a product of both diet and exercise. For many people, forced activity is seen as undesirable. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make physical fitness fun instead of turning it into a chore.

You’ll want to start by finding an activity you enjoy, whether it’s taking your dog on long walks, hiking or biking local trails, signing up for a variety of new classes (Zumba, Pilates, spinning, lifting, etc.), or falling back on old faves like jogging or swimming. Once you’ve got a few exercise routines that you can look forward to, it’s just a matter of scheduling them in.

You might not think all of this planning is necessary, but take a moment to consider how well your strategy of winging it has worked in the past. Use a calendar or planner to keep track of important events, meetings, appointments, and to schedule blocks of your favorite exercise.

Do it Different From Last Year

Only a fool does the same thing over and over and expects different results, so pen an exercise schedule and stick to it just like you would the meetings or events you regularly add to your calendar. Whatever you tried to do last New Year, don’t do it again unless it worked. If you bought a gym membership, trained for a month, then quit – don’t do that again!

  • Join a class.
  • Make new workout friends.
  • Find a training partner.
  • Try a new sport.

Don’t forget that a lack of exercise equipment doesn’t preclude you from working out. If you can’t afford a gym membership or home equipment, grab some friends and head to the park for a pickup game on Saturday afternoon.

We can all have a great time, boost our health and fitness in the process, and get one step closer to reaching our goals in 2013.

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