It's that time of the year were goals and plans to be achieved are being outlined as a map to help meet an expected level. For 80% of humans, fitness goal either tops the list or is between 1-5 on the list. Writing a goal is one thing, achieving on the other hand is a different game entirely as we are not all that patient or consistent. As this 80% starts before the end of the first quarter 50% are left and before the end of the year, 30% that begs the question what happened to the other 50%. Lack of proper planning, disappointment in oneself and procrastination happened.

In this article, we will learn the right ways to formulate our fitness goals, how to achieve them and also the effect of exercising too hard on our physical body and mental health.

Fitness Goal: It is a realistic goal which can be achieved by specific training with a particular time frame. Achieving these goals is not about what you want your body to look like but what your present body can do to achieve the body you want.

How To Formulate The Right Fitness Goals.

It should be known that the main aim of fitness is using the strength of your present body to get the body you want and so the goals you formulate should be what your present body can work with and not feel strained. These are tips to help you form the goals you desire.

  • STRENGTH: Knowing your strengths can never be overemphasized.It helps you know what you are capable of and not put unnecessary strain on oneself. You have to determine how many times a week you can exercise and not make it everyday and end up doing nothing. Working out 3 times a week is way better than the unachieved plan to workout everyday of the week.
  • Use the SMART acronym: Your Fitness goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Specific: Your purpose for exercise could be either just keeping fit or it could be for weight loss. So before you venture into setting goals, you should have specific reasons why you want the goals. If for weight loss, then specify how many calories you want to burn.

Measurable: It is always advised to document the number of exercises done and the calories that is burnt so you can measure and keep track of your progress.

Achievable: After getting to know yourself and your strengths,set goals that you can achieve. Like instead of saying you will exercise everyday of the week you you know you can't keep up with, make it 3 or 4 times a week instead. You will attain your goals better.

Relevant: It is very important to attach importance to your goals as the relevance of the goals keep you going even when you want to give up.

Timely: Adding a sense of timeliness helps to keep you on track. If you give yourself 6months to lose 20 pounds,you will be more eager to work harder.

  • Have an accountability partner: This person will be responsible for reminding  you of the reason why you started this Journey. This person can also be an exercise partner. It is Advised that if you are trying to lose weight, do not have a person who would not understand the set-backs that comes with trying to lose weight.

How To Achieve Your Goals

  1. Have fun with your exercises:Do not feel pressured to want to immediately lose weight. Putting that much pressure on yourself,you will not be able to enjoy the experience.
  2. Be Positive: When you start exercising,it would seem like you are not getting results but be patient with yourself and stay positive. A positive attitude will drive negative comments far away. It is said that it takes 30 days for the body to adjust to the new routine,60 days for you to see results and 90 days for others to see results.
  3. Track your progress.
  4. Always Stay Hydrated and Eat healthy foods.
  5. Sleep well(7-9 hours a day)
  6. Schedule your exercises and set reminders.

Effect Of Too Much Exercise On The Body And Mental Health.

  • Low-Immune System and Rhabdomyolysis: Exercising too hard can tear down the immune system making it difficult for ward off infections mostly upper respiratory infections. Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue that releases a damaging protein into the blood.This Muscle tissue results in the release of myoglobin into the blood.Myoglobin can damage the kidneys.
  • Damages the Heart: Over-training weakens the heart muscles which leads a condition known as Ventricular arrhythmia which the heart to beat irregularly(beating too fast or too slow) which prevents blood filled with Oxygen to be circulated round the body. It leads to loss of consciousness,cardiac arrest and death.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A mental health disorder where a person can't stop thinking about how flawed their appearance is. This disorder keeps you thinking of how your body is not perfect enough and you will want to exercise more which would lead to irregularities in your looks(like waistline becoming very thin,with broader chest and thin legs). This disorder hurts the joints and lead to other diseases.
  • Inflammations:When the body is undergoing exercise,the body takes in more oxygen than normal. This Oxygen is used to convert Energy to ATP which would be used by muscle contraction,leads to the production of free radicals and these radicals binds to different tissues and cause Chronic Inflammation. Chronic Inflammation is implicated in diseases like cancer,heart disease and Premature Aging.
  • Depression: Exercising hard has a negative effects of some stress hormones called Cortisol and Epinephrine resulting in Hormonal imbalance. This imbalance leads to Depression, difficulty in sleeping and lack of concentration.
  • Conclusion.

As Jim Robin said "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live in.