Fitness has been defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity" (USDHHS, 1996). Setting and keeping fitness goals is a reflection of one's level of discipline, dedication and determination. As we approach this holiday season, mapping a plan of action to keep you strong and sound is worth the while.
Fitness goals come in many forms. They may include daily exercise goals, dieting goals and nutrition goals. Whichever areas you decide to focus on, it is advisable that you make a commitment to yourself to live up to your goals, the following tips, if taken seriously will help you achieve your personal fitness goals during this season when millions of people are losing it.
Decide to start. Deciding to start is the first step in your quest. No matter how unfit and undisciplined you have been, making a decision to rise and be fit is the first step in your journey towards fitness, especially during this holiday season when it will definitely get tougher and harder to start.
Have a schedule that keeps you focused. Your decision forms the skeleton of your fitness plan. Creating a schedule is the flesh that you need to add to your skeleton of decision to cover it up. Make a time table around your daily schedule to accommodate your fitness campaign.
Do not be overzealous. Take it one step at a time. I remember some years ago when I decided to engage in several sports to keep me fit. Then, I wanted to play football, lawn tennis and swim, all at the same time. I ended up overburdening myself and had to give up my schedule after a short period, because I was overwhelmed and frustrated when I was not meeting up with my weekly goals.
Create a reward system for yourself. Setting and keeping fitness goals require that you have some form of external motivation to keep you going. Going to the gym on a cold winter morning can be a tall order. But if you have a reward system for yourself for making that move, say, three times a week, your morale will always be high. You can decide to treat yourself to a favorite meal in your favorite restaurant for every three gym sessions you attend. You may watch a favorite movie for avoiding some high fat-containing food.
Find a partner. I remember when I decided to start going to the gym. All I needed to do was to look out for folks who were also interested in using the gym. I relied a lot on their support to get started and going. I never missed classes for one day, because someone was always there to remind me that it was time to go.
Watch your calorie intake: It is very important that you monitor your calorie intake, especially during this holiday period. Enrolling in the best exercise program will amount to nothing if you go on an eating spree, consuming anything that comes your way. Watch what you eat on a daily basis. It is likely that you will visit friends and family, who will offer you food that may not be too healthy.
This holiday is a season to celebrate with your family and friends. Enjoy it to the fullest, but remember that you have a responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good luck as you step into this season in style.