Resolve To Review Your Fitness Goals

The new year is a good time for a new assessment of your exercise routine

Congratulations are in order if you are one of the few who stuck to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2014. Chances are that your goal of losing weight or feeling more fit has been well-realized and you are ready to stay the course for 2015. But is that path becoming too flat?

“If you’ve been working out the same way for a while, your body adapts and you could possibly lose some of the benefits of exercise,” explains Robert Creel, an exercise physiologist in St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Wellness Center. “For example, if you run a mile every day and that’s your only challenge, eventually you will reach a plateau.”

Creel says that those who occasionally review their program can break through that plateau by making changes that provide a different stimulus for their body.
 
“One year you may be focused on building muscle and then you might decide you want to participate in races,” Creel says. “At that point you would need to tailor your program more towards cardio workouts. It depends on what you want out of fitness. Goals can change and circumstances in life can change. Some people need to alter their program simply because they are getting older.”
 
Long-term and short-term goals are a focus of Creel’s work with members of the Wellness Center before they even touch their first machine.
 
“When someone joins the Wellness Center, we talk about goals to help us determine what kind of workout program he or she should follow,” Creel says. “We help them get the results they are looking for, and show them how to work toward their goals safely and effectively.”
 
Whether people are beginning a program for the first time or adjusting their routine after a period of success, the renewed difficulty they experience may be discouraging at first. Creel advises against setting goals that are too easy, and reminds people to look at the bigger picture.
 
“If you’re excellent at running, and switch to swimming, you’re not going to be the top swimmer,” Creel says. “It might feel like you’ve taken a step backwards, but sometimes that’s what you need to do to progress. Part of the process is going through those valleys to make it to the peaks on the other side.”