Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Jaclyn Ruemmler

Recent Posts by Jaclyn Ruemmler:

The Importance of Evaluating Progress

GettyImages-598549636Progress is defined as “forward or onward movement toward a destination,” and in fitness it is usually related to a specific fitness goal. Evaluating progress allows you to track your accomplishments or if you are not making the progress you hoped for, it can help determine what you can do better to reach your goal. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass, improve your 5k time, etc. tracking and evaluating your progress throughout your fitness journey is beneficial.

Tracking is the first big step in evaluating your progress. Based on your goal, you may want to track your everyday strength workouts with sets/reps/weight or how many minutes of cardio you did per day or how many steps you took each day. Whatever it is, you want to keep track of what you are doing. Some people like to use an app on their phone or maybe a journal; anything can work!

Tracking also allows you to challenge yourself from week to week or month to month. Our bodies like to adapt so if we continue doing the same things without “shocking the system” then we won’t see any progress. We can also track how we are feeling during an exercise, if you had a bad day and your strength routine for the day was not great, then write it down. It is important to know why you may not have made progress that week. If you get to a point where you are not making any progress, then reevaluating your goal would be the next step. Determine what can be changed and why was it difficult to accomplish in the first place. How can you avoid those barriers this time? Resetting your goal to be realistic and fit your lifestyle is totally fine. You want to set yourself up for success!

If you accomplish your goal and have made steady progressions, then it is time to create a new goal! For example, let’s say your goal was to run a 5k race in 24 minutes by running 3x/week and strength training 2x/week. And you accomplished this goal in 23:30 in a recent race, then what? You could set a goal to run a 5k race in under 23 minutes then increase your running days to 4x/week and keep strength training 2x/week. You could set a totally different goal and focus solely on strength training to build muscle mass. Determine your plan for accomplishing this goal and what steps you need to take to be successful.

Evaluating your progress is necessary in your fitness journey, even if you aren’t seeing forward progress. You can always reassess goals and determine what needs to be done be successful. If you are seeing forward progress, then challenge yourself again and work towards the next goal.

Topics: wellness and fitness fitness tips health and fitness goals

Taking the First Step, Setting a Goal

Goal setting can sometimes be easier said than done. There are a lot of ambiguous health goals out there like, “I want to lose weight,” “I want to eat more greens,” or “I want to sleep better.” Honestly, those ambiguous health goals are a good place to start! Breaking these goals down to determine your “why” will help get you started. Utilizing the SMART goal technique will allow you to determine what you specifically want to work on and how you can successfully achieve it.

Let’s start with the “I want to lose weight” goal example. Asking the question, “why do I want to lose weight?” is a good starting point. Do you want to lose weight to improve your cholesterol numbers? Will improved cholesterol numbers result in not taking your medication anymore? Will it help improve your self-esteem? Do you want to lose weight to keep up with your kids? There are so many options, so determining your reasoning is key and remember, you can have more than one reason.

GettyImages-1286490450Once you determine your “why” you want to use that to help set your SMART goal and create your plan. The SMART goal technique can be used in many aspects of life, from fitness goals to work goals to even relationship goals. It helps to determine your long-term goal along with smaller short-term goals to achieve along the way. Think of these goals as stepping stones towards the success of your long-term goal. They should be built into your plan and will help keep you accountable along the way.

What is a SMART goal? 

S- Specific; you want your goal to be as specific as possible.

M-Measurable; your goal should have a way to measure your success.

A- Achievable; your goal should provide a challenge, but well defined enough to be achieved.

R- Realistic; given the time and resources, your goal can be accomplished.

T- Timely; your goal should have a start and finish date.

Continuing with the “I want to lose weight” goal example, let’s break it down to determine our “why” and create our SMART goals.

Fitness Goal Example:

Long-term goal: I am hopeful that by January 2023, my cholesterol will be in the normal range, and I will be off my cholesterol medication.

Short-term goal: Improve my cholesterol numbers by my next doctor appointment on August 5. I will re-evaluate my goals after this doctor appointment.

Short-term goal: Starting next week, April 4, I will complete a 30-minute cardio group fitness class on Monday and Wednesday from 4-4:30 PM. On Fridays, I will join the 30-minute strength training class from 11:30-12 PM. I will block these times on my Outlook calendar and will add 10 minutes so I have time to change and make it over to the gym.

Short-term goal: Starting next week, April 4, I will improve my step count from 5,000 steps per day to 8,000 steps per day. I will accomplish this by taking 15-minute walking breaks every 2 hours while I am at work. I will do a lap on my floor and walk up/down 2 flights of stairs.

Short-term goal: By next Friday, I will set up a consult with our dietician to review my eating habits and how to make changes to see success.