It's getting close to springtime, and no matter what climate you live in, we all have one thing in common: most of us have already given up on our New Year's fitness resolutions for 2007.
Maybe you had good reason to quit your new workout program (career, family) or maybe your program quit you (too boring, too inconvenient). But with a little pre-planning, and a few mental adjustments, you can vastly increase your chances of meeting and exceeding your next batch of workout goals.
Before you get back on that exercise horse, take a few minutes to plan out some short-term goals. "The timeline I like to use is seven days," says Ron Jones, a licensed Corporate Wellness Coach and certified Health Fitness Instructor. "In seven days you can get your goals accomplished, but you also can't procrastinate a whole lot because it is a pretty tight deadline."
The key is to keep your goals small and obtainable, such as "walk for 20 minutes three times this week," building momentum with each success. "It's the small spark that creates the great flame," says Jones.
To make sure your progress heads in the right direction, quickly jot down your workout results without feeling forced to write a novel about your experience. "Don't get too anal-retentive about it," affirms Jones. "Writing everything down and charting everything and data-crunching can become a real stressor."
On a regular basis, take a look at your workout log with a critical yet non-judgmental eye. "Ideally, you look back every week," says Jones. "You are after about an 80% success rate." Hopefully, seeing the improvements you have made in strength and endurance will provide invaluable motivation.
Just these three simple tasks will sway the odds in your favor of adhering to a workout schedule all the way to next New Year's. "It is not about biomechanics, it's about mentality," says Jones. "You have to give people a very high chance for success when they start. That creates a foundation and you can work from that."
Horizon Tracking Tools
Research suggests that people who log or journal their workouts are more likely to reach their fitness goals than people who don't. Here are a couple of ways that Horizon Fitness can help you keep on top of your progress.
Integrated into the consoles of select Horizon Fitness treadmills and elliptical trainers, eTRAK™ Performance Tracker technology is designed to give you a motivational, easy-to-use way to monitor and manage your fitness over time.
eTRAK™ works by capturing a range of workout statistics, including incline, time, calories, pace, distance and speed - the baseline measurements you need to track progress. You can then view these statistics in formats such as average workout, last workout, weekly total, monthly total and lifetime total.
In addition to eTRAK, Horizon Fitness features weekly and monthly workout logs in all owner's manuals. You also can download the weekly and monthly logs (files are in .pdf format; Adobe Acrobat Reader required).
These forms make it easy to keep track of how your weekly and monthly workout totals compare to your goals. The form fields include distance, calories and time, with room to add comments after each daily workout.