It is a new year and for many of us we make some type of weight loss related New Year’s resolutions in an effort to get in shape. Some of us stick with them but unfortunately many of us abandon them by February.

I thought this would be a great time to talk about Fit Goals and ways we can look at Fit Goals to keep us motivated to be healthy and fit as well as lose or maintain weight.

Fit Goals vs Weight Loss Goals

For many of us trying to lose or maintain weight we establish weight loss goals and we monitor those goals periodically…..typically weekly. Usually we will strive to achieve a long term target weight and to help us get there we will establish weekly or monthly interim targets.

While weight loss or weight maintenance may be the primary outcome for a lot of people let me suggest however to strive for becoming more fit as the primary outcome.

The problem I see with weight loss goals as your sole primary outcome is that weight loss can be misleading. If you are making strides with eating balanced meals and engaging in regular physical exercise then just because the scale doesn’t change doesn’t mean your body has not changed for the better e.g. you are stronger, or you lost inches in key places.

Since encouragement and motivation is key to staying consistent with your weight loss efforts experiencing too many occasions where the scale isn’t showing you what you want to see can be really discouraging.

Look I get it…we all want to be slimmer, look better, feel better, and get into clothes that we have not been able to wear for a while. We have become conditioned to judge our progress by how much weight we lose. By focusing on becoming more fit first, I assure you will look better and feel better….you will also lose weight and in a good way.

So time for a new plan….instead of weight loss goals let’s try establishing Fit Goals!

First, before you establish a fit goal how do you measure fitness? In my mind fitness can be measured by strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. The better news is these are attributes that are associated with health and longevity.

 

Strength, Flexibility and Balance are Literally Life Savers

The role of muscular strength in the performance of activities of daily living as well as in the prevention of chronic disease, is increasingly being recognized.

According to Prevention.com, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology conducted a study of 2000 people ages 50-81 where they performed the “sitting-rising test” (going from a standing position to a sitting position on the floor and back to a standing position with the least assistance from hands, knees etc.) then rated the subjects on a 10-point scale, awarding five points for sitting and five for rising without any supports, like hands, forearms, and knees. Any time subjects used a support, the researchers docked a point.

The author of the study, Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo, PhD, a professor at Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro found that if a subject’s score fell between zero to three, he or she had a five- to six-times higher risk of death than those who scored between eight to 10.

What is the big deal about performing the “sitting-rising test”?

Glad you asked, well your ability to move from standing to sitting correlate with musculoskeletal fitness— body flexibility, balance, muscle strength, and coordination—which is an important indicator of your overall health, and has a favorable influence on life expectancy.

 

Cardio Health is Literally a Life Saver Too

To be clear I am not trying to poo poo cardio because cardio vascular endurance is still an important part of being fit.

Researchers at K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology tested more than 4,600 healthy Norwegians between 20 and 90 years. The researchers observed that women and men below the gender-specific mean for cardio vascular fitness were 4 to 8 times more likely to have the metabolic syndrome (i.e. a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke) compared to the most fit quartile of subjects.

 

SOOOOOOO………What am I saying?

I’ll tell you what I am saying…..establish goals that are fitness related and not just weight loss related. In fact make your Fit Goals your primary goals.

  • Fit Goals are progress goals that encourage you to push yourself and to achieve.
  • Fit Goals result in great pride and a sense of accomplishment which encourages you to continue to pursue these goals which results in a consistent approach to fitness and health.
  • Fit Goals are tangible demonstrations that you are getting healthier and improving your quality of life and potentially your life span.
  • Weight loss should be only one of the goals you hope to achieve.

 

Finally, what are examples of Fit Goals?

Typically, Fit Goals are measured by time, repetitions, distance, poundage (weight lifted) and physical capabilities.

  • Number of repetitions of an exercise
  • Perform an exercise for a specific length of time
  • Pounds lifted
  • Distance walk/run
  • Distance walk/run by time
  • Flexibility demonstrations

These are examples of Fit Goals that you can set weekly, monthly, quarterly and gradually increase them as you achieve them.

Fit Goals provide the perfect roadmap to fitness, health and weight loss….The Right Way!

 

“It perfectly fine to be Not PerFIT”.