How To Set Your Fitness Goals -And Actually Stick To Them.
A guest blog post for wareable.com
Polly from The Fit Mum Formula believes that to hit fitness goals using a tracker “you want a tracking device to make the process easier not irritating.”
She explained that without realising it, most of us have different motivations when it comes to making big changes to our fitness. “Some people love seeing numbers and are motivated by achieving goals, whereas others just want to see results,” she said.
It gets even more granular than that, and Polly urged people to really think about how much motivation they have toward the whole process and want they want from their gadgets:
“Some might like inputting their own data, for example food intake, but others might want a device to do work for them, like one that counts steps or distance run,” she explained.
Unfortunately there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness tracking.
Most people fail because they do not measure what they are trying to achieve.
Like Polly suggests, you need to work out what motivates you. If you like seeing numbers on your way to a goal you’ll need a device with a screen so you can keep your motivation levels high throughout the day, like a Fitbit Charge 2 or a Garmin Vivosmart 3.
If you’re all about the end game, something more discreet with a great app experience will be more suited to what you’re after, like a Fitbit Flex 2 or a Misfit Shine 2.
“There’s nothing more demotivating than ‘failing’ because you couldn’t stick to a plan because it was unrealistic.”
The challenge if you’re going it alone with a tracker instead of a personal trainer is getting to the bottom of what a ‘realistic goal’ really is.
So what do these small goals actually look like? Well, Polly suggests implementing goals can be as simple as “adding a piece of fruit to breakfast and going for a 15 minute walk after supper every evening, if that’s more than they’re currently doing and is all they can stick to right now, then that’s progress.”
She sees goal setting and progress much more about forming habits rather than going for long, gruelling workouts that you’re only likely to stick to a few times a month.
Polly said that upping the amount of steps you’re taking can make a difference to your fitness, especially if you’re new to exercise or have been struggling with an injury. Just like bigger goals, she says take it slow, even though you’re walking.
“Going from very few steps to 10,000 overnight is unrealistic, so I would set smaller goals and build up, say 5,000 steps per day in the first week, 7,00o in the second and 10,000 in the third, only moving onto the next goal once the first one is achieved.”
When it comes to weight loss, Polly agrees it’s a territory to be approached with caution if you’re going it alone. “As you lose weight ‘metabolic adaptation’ occurs as a result of changes in weight, muscle and body fat percentages, and monitoring a person’s diet throughout this will mean you can make changes accordingly,” she explained.
Polly said: “If someone is preparing for an event then goals would change weekly so that they progress gradually until race day.”
To her this means making a number of changes in your workout programme and back-tracking your goal setting so you’ll hit your final distance or time when you need to.
“Usually this involves simply increasing the distance run each time,” which would be easy for anyone with a fitness tracker and a calendar to work out. She also recommends those with wearables make sure to “adjust rest and diet protocols in accordance, as more activity will require more rest and focus on nutrition to aid recovery.”