Fitness resolution is a marathon, not a sprint

  • Published
  • By Eric Neal
  • 934th AW exercise physiologist
It's that time of the year again.  People are making New Year's resolutions and some of those resolutions are to improve body composition and fitness levels.  Some of these people making resolutions have made the same resolutions in the past and some it will be a new experience.  For those who have made the resolution in the past it will be a re-assessment, re-evaluation, or re-dedication to their goals.  For those who are new to the resolution it becomes an assessment of where they are, where they want to be, and how they are going to get there. 

My message to everyone making a New Year's resolution to improve body composition and fitness levels is to understand this goal is a marathon and not a 40-yard dash.  It is important to plan for barriers and ways to overcome them and to understand sometimes there will be no way to plan around a barrier, which can be detrimental to success.  If this should happen to you, realize that it is ok to be down, but not ok to stay down.  Never give up when things aren't going your way and realize that things will eventually get better.  Keeping this attitude prevents a person from falling so far out of reach for achieving goals. 

The best way to set a goal is to have a long term goal that should take 6-12 months, with short term goals that take about a month to achieve to help reach the long term goal.  The goal should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Track-able).  Making a goal like this towards body composition and fitness promotes a fitness lifestyle, which leads to much better health and productivity. 

This is a much better plan than only doing fitness training 6 weeks out from a Fitness Assessment towards success.  Weight management plays a direct effect on the abdominal circumference and quite an indirect effect on the rest of the test as it is much easier to perform the components at a lighter weight and improves health significantly.  If you have made body composition and fitness a New Year's resolution this year I hope that it will be for a fitness lifestyle with the attitude of never give up and believe in yourself.