TOP 5 CHALLENGES TO REACHING YOUR FITNESS GOALS
Ok, this is purely anecdotal. We are not referencing any studies here, but we know that these are the biggest challenges we've faced and have heard similar stories from our friends!
1. Getting discouraged when your performance doesn't match that of your 20-year-old self.
Let's face it, we are not 20-years-old anymore! If we were, we wouldn't be in this predicament. You can't walk out the door and compete with your 20-year-old self... especially if you fell off the exercise wagon several years ago. Our philosophy is that we should restart our personal bests every year. Your first run, walk or race should be your baseline for the rest of the year. Personal bests come in many shapes and sizes: most times out in a week, longest distance coverered, fastest pace, longest running interval without a walk break, race times, etc. We will help you to celebrate your personal bests, no matter what it is!
2. Not knowing where to start.
The best way is to get in the habit of walking regularly, then gradually add running intervals when you feel ready. Before you know it, you'll be running more than walking, But more importantly, you will have developed the habit of getting out the door. It really doesn't matter how far/fast you go, what matters is that you do it. Most Couch-to-5K programs are 8-10 weeks long. This is plenty of time to go from doing nothing at all to running/walking your first 5K. Follow our training links to pick a program that's right for you.
3. Setting unrealistic goals.
Too many people set unrealistic goals that are doomed to failure. For example: "I'll start running 2 miles every day starting tomorrow." First of all, it's not a good idea to run every day. You need to give both your body and mind a break so that you don't get injured or burn out. Second, you have to be flexible with yourself and give yourself a little wiggle room. If you don't do anything right now, what makes you think that you will suddenly have the time/energy to run two miles every, single day? Instead, give yourself a goal of walking/running two miles three days a week. That way if your schedule just doesn't allow you to do your planned run on Monday, you can try to work it in to Tuesday without starting the week completely off track.
You should set a challenging but achievable goal for yourself. If you announce that you've set your goal to friends and family, you'll be more inclined to stick to it. Use our goal tracker to track your progress throughout the year. If you get derailed, don't give up! We'll help you get back on track. Need help setting your goal? Contact us.
4. Not knowing when/how to fit it all in.
Ugh. There are only so many hours in a day. If you already feel stretched thin, adding one more item to your to-do list can seem completely overwhelming. But there are ways to tackle it and even multi-task, if necessary. Does the day have a tendancey to get away from you right when it starts? Try getting up 30 minutes earlier and going for your walk or run before everyone else wakes up. You can use the time to think about and get ready for your day. Not an early riser? Try getting into exercise clothes before you take your child to an afterschool activity. While he/she is at the activity, you can walk or run around the building/field/neighborhood. Do you have a friend with a similar goal? Two heads are better than one. If you commit to exercise together, somehow the two of you will be able to figure out a way to fit it in! Can you walk or run during your lunch break at work? If not, how about bringing your running clothes to work and taking a quick jog before you head home for the day?
5. When the going gets tough, we settle back into our old habits.
If it was easy to get into an exercise routine, you would already be in one! New habits are hard to make and easy to break. Research has shown that people are more likely to reach their goals and develop new fitness habits, when they do so with a partner or a group. A group holds you accountable. A group makes you feel better when you take steps to your goal. And a little peer pressure to keep going doesn't hurt either. By tracking your progress, you'll get to see everything you have accomplished and get moral support when things aren't going quite right. One week, or even one month doesn't make a year. Don't give up if you get a little behind, and don't try to catch up in a week either. This is a year long goal. There will be bumps in the road and life will get in the way sometimes, but the trick is to get back to it as quickly as possible.