Friday, April 8, 2011
The Fit Files by Julia Hubbard
Welcome to my new Fitness column, i will be writing new articles every couple of weeks, covering everything from diet, training & helpful tips. If theres anything you would like to read about in particular visit my fanpage Julia.fit and let me know what you are interested in!
My first article will start at the beginning, working out what we want and how we can measure our success. Next time, will be a training article on Legs as requested by Yvette Holden and after that, I'll pick another topic requested on my fanpage so please get suggesting!
Whatever level you are at, whether you are just getting into working out for the first time or a seasoned athlete, setting goals is vital! If you don't know clearly what you want, how are you going to achieve it?
You might want to compete in a sport or be ready for a wedding but this may be a fair distance away, so you need to have a Long term goal to aim for and some short term goals to help you on that journey!
Firstly, To successfully achieve your goals, You need to know what you want, when you want it and how you are going to get it! Just saying i want to lose weight isn't tangible enough, and you will probably lose track of where you are going.
Secondly, write down your goals in detail so that you can look at it regularly to remind yourself what you are working towards! You can use the SMART principle to record your goals.
If you don't know what you are aiming for how will you work towards it, or know when you have achieved it? You might have an outfit you want to fit into, a dress size, a percentage of bodyfat you want to achieve.
You need to be able to measure your success In order to track your progress. So if you want to lose weight, a specific goal would be to lose a certain number of pounds or to have a target weight or you can set a percentage bodyfat to aim for. If you are looking for strength gain or an athlete you can set a goal to run or jump a distance in a specific time / distance, or have a target weight to lift.
You need to make sure your goals are realistic, if a goal is too far out of your reach, you may get disheartened, make the goal too easy and you wont feel the challenge! For example, the average weekly fat loss is about 2lb, so this is a realistic goal. This is where having short term goals, on the road to the main long term goal is useful.
You need to make a plan as to how you are going to achieve your goal. If you want to eat healthier you might decide to try and and eat 2 pieces of fruit a day in the first week, then add an extra portion of veg the next week, cut down unhealthy snacks to once a week, so you have a plan that you can stick to that will lead to your goals. Trying to do too much too quickly might feel overwhelming and difficult to stick to long term, gradually introducing a new healthier lifestyle makes it easier to adapt to.
Set a deadline to achieve your goal, so if you want to lose 10lb, setting a target of 5 weeks might be a realistic time frame.
Tracking your progress
So, you have your goals written down, you know what you are aiming for, now you need to track your progress, there are lots of ways to help with this.
Here's some ideas
Measurements-Taking chest, waist and hip measurements and remeasuring on a regular basis, weight itself can be deceptive as if you have increased muscle, by training and lost bodyfat, your actual weight may not change significantly, although your body will have changed. Bodyfat percentage is another measurement you can take to track progress.
Keep a training diary- this will enable you to look back and see how much progress you have made
Food Diary- keeping a food diary can help you identify how well you are sticking to your healthy eating plan.
Before and after pictures. This is one of my favourite ways of measuring success. If you are trying to change your bodyshape / weight, as you see yourself everyday, its often hard to notice the difference, so if you take monthly progress pictures, when you compare them you will be able to see how much you have progressed.
Here are my progress pics from last year, January, April and October.
So now you have made your goals and decided how you are going to track your progress, let me know what articles you would like to see next so i can help you work towards them x
Good luck !