Let’s be honest—very few people work out at the gym because they enjoy the actual activity of lifting weights or running on treadmills. We work out for a better health, to enhance our physical appearance, to optimize our bodies for other sports or to recover from injury, to name just a few reasons. And though arguably most exercises contribute to a stronger cardiovascular health, there are certain principles that will help you better reach your objectives and reap the benefits of your efforts more effectively in the process.
- Keep it realistic
By all means aim for the sky, but make sure to keep your objectives within reach. Unless you’re willing and able to mould your entire life around your quest for Olympic gold, it makes sense to set yourself targets you can realistically meet given your situation. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ambitious, but it will save you the frustration of not being able to get where you want to go.
- Focus on short-term success as much as long-term goals
Don’t just set yourself one big end-goal. If your dream is to run the NYC marathon, start with goals like running 8 miles within a month instead of only focusing on crossing that Central Park finish line. Don’t lose sight of your long-term targets, but map out the smaller steps rather than wanting to get there in one huge leap.
- Make it quantifiable
Keeping track of progress is essential when working towards a goal and in order to do so, you need specific and measurable objectives. For example, your goal should be to run those 8 miles in under an hour instead of just wanting to run faster. And make sure to give yourself a deadline. Without one, most people just tend to procrastinate.
- Keep a log
There’s a Chinese proverb that says the palest ink is better than the best memory. Keep a log of your training program, as it will help you monitor progress and keep you on track without having to wonder how fast you ran last time.
- Take action
Last but not least—get to work. If you want to improve your health, you need to put some effort in. Without committing, all of the steps above are meaningless.
Reach for the stars and these tips will help you to get there without gasping for air!