I hear that everyone who starts a fitness/exercise regimen should set some definite short and long-term goals to be achieved, which gives them a target to reach for and helps them to stay on track. Fair enough.
My short term (daily) goal is pretty much just to get to the gym every day, get my heart rate up, and get sweaty. The long-term goals are a little more in-depth and detailed.
Fitness Goal #1: To lose ten pounds, more or less. I say more or less because I think my body can pretty much figure out its healthy weight without me trying to force a figure on it. My best weight, I believe, is in the mid-to-upper 130s. I am in the mid-to-upper 140s now. I have not been in the mid-to-upper 120s since I was heavily breast-feeding, and by all accounts, I looked pretty emaciated then (I also did not have as much muscle as I do now, which apparently weighs more).
It looks like I might’ve lost a pound or two already, though it’s hard to tell for certain until there’s a trend that shows up for more than one day. I do hop on the gym scale everyday before I work out to get an idea of where I’m at. Weight loss isn’t really the end-all be-all for me–it’s more a positive side-effect of goal #2.
Fitness Goal #2: To tone up/remove the extra hips I have growing on top of and below my regular hips. I believe these are called “love handles,” but I don’t really love them very much. There’s a little extra around my waist, too. I don’t want to be hard and muscle-bound all over, and I don’t want my pants to hang off my shrunken butt, I just want to firm up a little and not have a feeling that my pants have been secretly colluding in my dresser drawer to shrink their waistbands just enough to make me uncomfortable. Sneaky bastards. I’ll show them.
Fitness Goal #3 is something like working up enough cardiovascular fitness so I can have a chance of escaping should any large carnivorous beast chase me. I’m not planning on any sort of Jackie-Joyner Kersee speed and power, I just want to have enough edge to run quickly to the nearest tree, hurdling any obstacles in my path, and leaping up to the safest branch.
Of course, if it’s a mountain lion, this goal won’t do me a lot of good. Black bears can climb trees, too. But, you get the idea. I don’t want to be out of breath if I have to dash up a flight of stairs is all.
Fitness Goal #4 is to keep moving throughout the winter months so the Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t get the better of me as it did last winter. If I can get to the gym every day, or at least five or six days a week (unless I have some other physical activity planned), I will feel a lot better about myself and also about the state of the world (hey maybe that’s what the Yoga-for-World-Peace thing is about!).
Fitness Goal #5: Keeping my strength up over the winter months so that in March when I start pulling T-posts and moving cattle panels and constructing trellises (as well as hand-digging, working, and turning beds), I will not have to make several emergency trips to the chiropractor, who will think it’s funny to ask, while I’m moaning in pain, “Don’t they make machines for that kind of work?”
For the even longer-term, my strategy once spring comes and I am more active outside is to continue attending yoga class to maintain flexibility and doing a bit of cardio on the days I’m not bent over hacking at cultivating the soil nonstop for an hour or more (this can be a pretty good cardio workout, too).
I got really worn out and injured myself more than once this season. Part of it was pushing myself too hard, but the other part was simply not being in any kind of shape to do the work I was doing after a depressed and immobile winter. I got there eventually, of course, kind of like I imagine people on a forced exodus over hundreds of miles get decent leg muscles, but the path was pretty rugged at times.
All in all, for a person who is not into exercise for exercise’s sake, I’m really diggin’ this gym thing so far!