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Exercise Goals - How high should I set the bar?

Do you want to push your limits a little further? Are you a bit confused on how to set your goals? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone with that because many of us can sometimes struggle with the answers to these questions.

Let’s say there is a beginner in fitness on the horizon of the new year. They want to get moving more this year because whenever they do they always feel so much better afterwards. Making goals is the next great step, so this beginner decides they want to run one mile per week.

Now this sounds all well and peachy, but what is actually going to happen.

In a new study published in January, regarding exercising and walking step goals, it does give us some different information. It explains that in the majority of lower active individuals, difficult goals had a correlation between activity time. The catch is that if the goal was too difficult the results were then negative. This would lead us to believe that if our beginner really wanted to run a mile per week they would not start with that initial goal. It would be much wiser to slightly increase his distance to what he is performing regularly and then in the future set the mile goal.

Often we would like to be the best we could be and not think about reality in the long run. Setting the ‘sky as the limit’ is one of the greatest attitudes to have in many goal setting situations. With physical fitness though it might tell a different story.

We can also start to visualize in our minds that shorter goals result in success more often than not.

In terms of shorter goal setting, there should be a substantial agreement where smaller goals are much more easy to attain than larger ones. So does shorter workouts mean that they are more effective than longer ones?

In short, yes, but let's take a dive in to uncover some of the necessaries. Have you heard of a seven minute workout? Well, you should because it might be that balance between time and effort that could actually work. In a 2017 study, in which this seven minute workout was analyzed it concluded that short workouts like these may be very if not highly effective toward improving aerobic endurance. The subjects in this study performed these workouts every single day in a six week period. They were recorded of their current health status and markers, in which there was a significant drop in body fat percentage compared to the controlled group. With some people going for an hour or more workout, they could get the same goals accomplished with just seven, and with plenty of time to spare. Making that short term goal reality is the key.

In conclusion, short steps are the way to go. Even if they are mini steps in the right direction, sometimes that is all we need. That little push that makes us get up for one more workout, making time when time is limited, and not settling for the easy way.

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