This time of year we are bombarded with commercials and articles about losing weight, taking supplements, and a variety of things that can really mess with our heads. I am a firm believer that when it comes to making progress, the psychological can really affect the physical. Having a realistic and POSITIVE outlook is a way to get yourself on the road to achieving your goals. There are ways to set baselines for yourself that can be used in addition to weight and body fat measurements, in order to get a really accurate gauge of your progress on a number of levels.
When I go over goals with my clients, one of the first things we do is set these baselines. There are many things to pay attention to when you are starting a health and fitness routine, and your weight does not always have to be at the top of the list. How you feel every day, if you sleep well, if you eat well, how you handle stress, your muscular strength, your muscular endurance, your cardiac health, and so on and so forth. As I talked about in my first entry, you want to set your self up for SUCCESS, not failure.
For example, if there is a week that you do not lose weight (if that is your primary goal), you need to have something to fall back on to realize that you have made progress in some way, which is usually the case. Running a timed mile, walking a mile, running 2 miles, or a 5K, are all ways to gauge your cardiac and aerobic endurance. So far, Candita has completed a timed 5K, which we will repeat every couple of weeks to note her progress. Do one of these (dependent on your level of fitness) when you start your fitness routine, and do it again every 2-4 weeks to see how much progress you have made. Do 20 Squats and 10 PushUps, and repeat as many times as you can in 10 minutes, and that is a great gauge of your muscular strength and endurance. Tomorrow, Candita and I will be setting her muscular endurance baseline, and I will write all about it. So stay tuned!
So here is your test for the week......
Pick one of the following to set an Aerobic Baseline:
Run 1 Mile
Walk 1 Mile
Run 2 Miles
Walk 2 Miles
Run 5K (3.1 Miles)
Pick one of the following to set a Muscular Baseline:
10 minutes, do as many sets as possible of:
Start a journal with notes on your times, and how you felt. Keeping a journal for everything from your workouts to your nutrition is a great practice to have. Stay positive, and let us know if you have any questions at all.
Lisa St. Denis has been in the fitness world in one way or another for the past 20 years. As an ACSM certified personal trainer and NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist, she has been professionally training for over 8 years, working with all ages.