How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals

Sports Medicine, Physical Rehabilitation


Want to be healthier in 2024? These tips will help you get there.

A new year is a great time to make resolutions, and if you’re like most people, you aim to be healthier. But despite your best intentions, your goals may fall by the wayside, and you end up feeling frustrated and wondering if it was worth it.

Don’t get discouraged! As with any other endeavor in life, getting fit involves setting realistic goals and sticking to them. With the help of these easy-to-follow tips, you can achieve your fitness goals and be healthier for it.


Start your fitness journey by following the SMART method:

Specific: Be as specific as you can in your goal. For example, it’s better to say, “I want to run an extra mile” than “I want to run longer distances.”

Measurable. Saying you want to be healthier is great, but how can that be measured? Doing more reps when you lift weights or working out at the gym for 15 more minutes each session can be measured.

Attainable. Be realistic in reaching your goal. Thinking you can run a marathon in two weeks is unrealistic. But, aiming to run in a local 5K after a month or two of training is a more attainable goal.

Relevant. Everyone has different fitness objectives. Therefore, ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want stronger muscles? More flexibility? Or are you hoping to ease joint pain so you can move better? Once you set a relevant goal, you can craft your routine around it.

Timely. What is the timeline for reaching your goal? Six months? Four weeks? Again, be realistic about whether you can reach that goal by that time. Remember, you can always adjust the timeline for any unexpected setbacks.

Get ready to reach your fitness goals

Now that you’ve committed to a fitness plan, you can start by making your goals and reaching them. These six rules will help:

Set a goal. As mentioned previously, setting a goal is the first step in getting fit. Make the goal specific to you. It could be anything from enhanced mobility and strength to simply doing everyday tasks with less joint pain.

Schedule your workouts. You schedule lunch dates and work meetings, why not your workouts? At the beginning of every month, set the day and time for exercise. You’re more likely to work out if you schedule in advance.

Monitor your progress. Keep track of your progress every session. Did you run that extra half-mile or mile? Do you perform more weight reps? Fitness apps are another way to monitor your progress.

Pair up with a buddy. Team up with a friend, family member, or co-worker on your fitness journey. Working out with a partner will make the experience more pleasant and keep you motivated.

Mix it up. Doing the same workout day after day can become boring, and boredom can make you give up. Instead, try a new workout occasionally. If you’re a dedicated weight trainer, try a yoga class. Meanwhile, runners can benefit from weight training. Mixing up your exercise routine will keep you engaged.

Rest. You may think you need to work out every day, but that’s not the case. Also, it’s not realistic. Your body needs time to recover from strenuous exercise. Just as you would schedule exercise, make sure you set time aside to rest. Can’t sit still? Use that rest day for a less intense workout. Rather than a long run, take a brisk walk. You’ll get your exercise in without overtaxing your muscles and joints.

Let us help you reach your fitness goals

Unsure of how to start your fitness plan? Don’t know what workouts are best for you? A physical therapist at All Sports Physical Therapy can provide exercises to help you reach your goals. Contact us today for a consultation as you kick off your fitness journey.

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