A New Year’s resolution may seem out of fashion, but before completely giving up on it, here are several reasons why people should set physical health and fitness goals for the coming year.
In this article:
- What Are Physical Health Goals?
- Benefits of Setting Physical Health Goals
- Physical Health Goals You Can Add to Your List of New Year’s Resolutions
Why Physical Health Goals Are Important Next Year
What Are Physical Health Goals?
Physical wellness goals can be a part of your life goals, which is a bigger picture. They are an idea of how you see the future in terms of fitness and health and how you want to achieve them.
It can be that you want to achieve a specific weight at a certain period or simply lose weight and stay fit for a healthier lifestyle.
Reaching your goals may not be an easy journey and may take a while before you see the results. But, you don’t have to do all these goals at once because it can get overwhelming.
You can instead focus on completing each goal to let you go through the next.
Benefits of Setting Physical Health Goals
Now that you understand what physical health goals are, it’s time you learn why setting them is crucial in your overall wellness.
1. Help You Plan Better Workouts
Clearly defined fitness goals allow you to plan your gym sessions more efficiently. They give your training direction and help you identify what you need to include in your workouts.
You can manage your time in the gym more effectively when you have a goal you want to achieve.
2. Direct You to Success
Setting physical health and body goals gives you a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish. It directs action and gives you something to work for.
With a clear goal in mind, your chances of achieving your desired outcome are drastically increased.
3. Help You Stay Motivated
One way to maintain motivation for exercise is to set a clear and measurable goal. Short-term goals are especially important because they are easier to attain.
When you regularly hit your short-term goals, you are provided with more motivation to keep working towards your long-term health goals.
4. Help You Track Your Progress
One challenging aspect of working out is how to effectively measure your progress. The solution to this is setting measurable New Year goals.
When you have a specific and measurable fitness goal, you can easily track the progress you’re making. It also helps you identify the areas you need to improve on when you don’t see results.
5. Make Exercising Less Intimidating
Goals allow you to break down a seemingly impossible task into something more approachable. For instance, losing weight may initially seem too daunting.
If you break it down to short, actionable goals like hitting the gym three times a week and eating at least one healthy meal a day, then losing weight seems less intimidating.
6. Keep You Focused
Goals help you channel your focus and effort. They direct your attention to the important tasks that need to be accomplished to achieve your desired outcome.
When you have a worthwhile goal, you are more likely to stay disciplined and focused.
7. Boost Your Confidence
Goals can provide incentives that sustain your motivation and enthusiasm for exercise.
As you hit your goals, you gain confidence in your own skill and competence. It gives you satisfaction and empowers you to keep achieving more.
8. Help Improve Your Performance
When you have a fitness goal you want to achieve, you are more likely to persist and work hard in the gym and be physically active. A goal also helps you avoid fitness plateau.
Fitness Plateau Definition: A state where a person is unable to progress from a current health or weight status to a goal no matter how hard or often they exercise
When you create new goals, you challenge yourself to do better, resulting in an overall improvement in your performance.
9. Give You a Sense of Purpose
A goal gives you a reason to get up in the morning and push yourself to go to the gym. If you are only aimlessly working out, you are more likely to easily give up when you face setbacks.
In contrast, when you are clear with the fitness goals you want to reach, you’ll be less likely to get discouraged or develop depression.
Physical Health Goals You Can Add to Your List of New Year’s Resolutions
Aside from improving your regular physical activity to stay fit, it’s also essential to switch to a healthy lifestyle to boost overall wellness and quality of life. Here are healthy habits to follow:
1. Perform Push-ups
Regardless if you’re a beginner or an advanced fitness enthusiast, push-ups are a great addition to your daily workout routine. They strengthen what you mostly use in your daily activities: your upper body.
They strengthen your:
- Pectoral muscles
- Lower back
You can perform push-ups anywhere and don’t need any equipment. Just make sure to do the proper form to achieve the exercise’s maximum benefits.
2. Take Your Workout Outside
Although it’s beneficial to do your workout indoors, especially if the weather is not good, it’s still best to perform it outside to get some fresh air and sun and meet people. This allows you to help clear your mind and enhance social interaction and emotional well-being.
Being in the gym a lot and staring at the wall, most of the time, won’t help with your mental stimulation. You can challenge your body a little more by simply walking, running, or hiking to avoid the risk of developing mental health problems.
The constant change of your workout environment can promote healthy mental well-being and health and help avoid recycled air from the gym.
3. Keep Your Focus on the Habit, Not the Result
Focusing on results instead of the best practices you follow only gets in the way of your fitness journey because it can get overwhelming. You can get caught up easily on a certain look you desire and then shed some weight but gain it again as you face challenging times.
You should not concentrate on your body fat percentage, tape measure, or scale. Focus on the healthy habits that help bring you to your goals and achievements.
You don’t have to compare yourself to others either because you have a different route from theirs.
4. Sleep More
Sleep is very important for the overall physical and mental health of the general population because it allows the body to recharge. If you’re deprived of sleep, it’s difficult for you to reach your health and fitness goals because it makes you feel tired easily.
Sleep deprivation can also raise the stress hormone in your body, which may result in chronic disease and inflammation. Make sleep one of your priorities in your physical health goals to allow your body to heal.
Sleep at least seven hours a day. Make sure to follow good sleeping habits that make you fall asleep fast and promote restful sleep.
5. Make Room for Rest and Recovery
When you work out, you break down muscle tissue, and you need enough time to help your body recover from it. If you feel tired after work, try to take a rest first before hitting the gym.
Proper nutrition is also important for recovery, with the right balance of protein, carbs, fat, and fiber in your diet.
6. Cut Back on Sugar
Sugar is important for fueling energy, but too much of it can lower your energy levels and prevent you from completing your workout routine.
When you consume sugar, your body releases insulin to help transfer glucose to your cells, which allows you to experience a spike in energy levels.
Once consumed, your body starts to experience low energy, and if you keep on increasing sugar intake, the cycle continues. Your body goes into toxic stress, which leads to constant low energy levels.
Too much sugar can also prevent you from losing weight because the body stores up the excess amount and converts it to fat.
Start minimizing sugar by avoiding highly-processed foods and eating plant-based meals.
7. Eat More Veggies
If you want to get the best varieties of nutrients from your diet, add more vegetables to your meals.
- Contain potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals that can help boost your immune system
- Protect from common communicable and noncommunicable diseases
- Provide energy levels to support your physical health goals
Dark leafy greens have the highest nutrient concentration than other types of vegetables. You can add them to your stews and soups, make some salad, or create your green smoothie.
8. Concentrate on Your Breathing When Exercising
Breathing when exercising may be overlooked, but this is an aspect you need to focus on. Deep breathing detoxifies the body by exhaling air toxins that can accumulate in your system.
Proper breathing can also increase energy levels as it allows the correct process of transporting oxygen into the cells.
It’s essential not to hold your breath when you exercise and take deep breaths through your nose and then out of your mouth. This helps fill your lungs with the right amount of oxygen.
9. Stretch More Often
Stretching is not only important before exercise but also after it. Stretching before your exercise allows your body to warm up and get ready for a more intensified physical activity.
Stretching after your workout can also allow your body to properly transition from a more intense workout to a lighter one. Doing it before and after can reduce stress and aches from your workout and improve flexibility.
Failure to do stretching can increase your risk of muscle damage and injury.
Setting physical health and fitness goals is one way to improve your body and overall wellness. Be realistic when setting your goals and make sure to break them down into more manageable steps.
Don’t forget to track your progress and take daily supplements, too. With the right goals and proper attitude, you are more likely to see your hard work at the gym pay off.
What are your health and well-being goals for the New Year? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 17, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.