According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being physically active is critical to health because it improves brain function, helps manage weight, strengthens bones, and improves overall well-being.1 Research also shows that exercise is associated with better mental health, sleep, and self-esteem.2 While the health benefits of exercise are well-known, it can be challenging to create a consistent fitness routine.
Is your workout regimen in need of some revamping in the new year? Are you working toward achieving your New Year’s fitness goals without falling out of step? Fortunately, some strategies can help make this year’s fitness routine foolproof.
Keep it Simple
While some people focus on reps, weight, and other workout benchmarks, sometimes a good fitness goal is to simply move more. The CDC recommends one hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous activity for children aged 6 to 17 and 150 minutes of moderate activity and two days a week of muscle strengthening for adults aged 18 to 64.3
To put this into perspective, for adults, a moderate activity is a brisk walk while a vigorous activity is jogging. For the kiddos moderate-to-vigorous activity requires daily active playtime that can include running and playing tag, jumping on a trampoline, and climbing on a jungle gym. No matter what your New Year’s fitness goals are, it’s time to get SMART.
SMART Goals for the New Year
SMART is an effective tool that can be used to help achieve any goal, but especially helpful for fitness goals.4 It is an acronym that stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-bound.
Let’s say the goal for you and your family is to move more. That’s not very specific, is it? An example of getting more specific would be to say you want to walk 10,000 steps per day, which is a great goal to help support overall health, especially heart health.5 Now that’s specific.
SMART goals need to be measurable, as in easy to track progress, so that’s where the M comes into the equation. If we stick with the walking example, many phone health apps track steps per day or you could invest in a pedometer to help measure your success.
Making the goal attainable and relevant is also important. If 10,000 steps seem unrealistic, set a goal of 6,000 and work your way up to 10,000. Walking is relevant because the CDC and most other prominent health organizations recommend walking as a great way to achieve improved health.
Setting a timeframe is also important. Perhaps you are working up to your 10,000 steps. Instead of saying you will eventually increase to 10,000 you have to put a timeframe in place to work toward. In that case, walk 6,000 steps for the first 30 days and then re-evaluate and increase each month by 1,000 steps until you achieve your end goal.
Choose the Right Fuel
If you’re more seasoned in fitness and are seeking to amp up your routine, then you already know what workouts you need to improve strength, stamina and muscle definition. What you might not be sure of, though, is the proper fuel to keep you going. If muscle strength is your goal, make sure to consider Creatine. The benefits of creatine are plenty when it comes to energy and muscle strength.* Whether you prefer powder or gummies, choose the formula that fits your lifestyle.
Now that you know how to fuel, it’s SMART to be creative and proactive when achieving New Year’s fitness goals for you and your family. Do what works for you, try SMART to help you achieve your goals and fuel the right way so that you don’t fall through this time. After all, new year, new you has gotta start here, right?
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Benefits of physical activity. 2023;Aug 1. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm
- Mahindru A, Patil P, Agrawal V. Role of Physical Activity on Mental Health and Well-Being: A Review. Cureus. 2023;15(1):e33475. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9902068/?report=reader
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity for different groups. 2021;July 29. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/age-chart.html
- Cleveland Clinic. How SMART fitness goals can help you get healthier. Health Essentials. 2022;Nov 1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/smart-fitness-goals
- del Pozo Cruz B, Ahmadi MN, Lee I, et al. Prospective associations of daily step counts and intensity with cancer and cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2022;182(11):1139-1148. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2796058