Important Information About Achieving Fitness Goals During and After Holidays From A Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Navy Seal
By Stew SMITH, CSCS USN(SEAL)
Almost every day, people of all ages confide in me with their fitness goals. Over the years, I’ve learned that most tactical fitness goals are either too broad and lack focus or too narrow in scope and require additional elements.
For example, broad goals such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get healthy again” may require someone to quit smoking, overeating, and drinking soda. In addition, they must be paired with a regular exercise routine. The truth is that anyone who tries to do all of these things in the same week is statistically setting themselves up for failure.
The opposite problem occurs when someone has a narrow goal like “I want to do pull-ups.” Depending on their current fitness level, this may require them to use weights to strengthen grip, biceps, and back muscles. If they are overweight, they may need to undergo a weight loss program first to achieve their goal.
Unfortunately, too many people are unable to perform pull-ups because they are 20 to 25 pounds overweight. The common between men and women who can perform pull-ups is that they practice them a few times per week as part of their weekly workout routine. See pull-up articles in the Article Archive for more info.
How to Meet Your Fitness Goals
If you’d like to achieve your health and fitness goals, you’ll need to follow a standard method. The method involves baby steps if you’re a beginner and a foundation of several elements if you’re active and would like to accomplish more advanced goals. Here are the elements you should have on your radar.
When I say move, I mean exercise. If you exercise regularly, your body will be able to adapt and create the fitness foundation you need to change your lifestyle. You don’t have to run a marathon. A simple walk or bike ride or gym workout with weights and cardio will do the trick.
Note that if you’d like to do more pull-ups, pushups, or run faster, you must be active already. If you’re not, you’ll need to create a foundation on which to build these more advanced goals. As a tactical fitness professional, I know that this is the exact reason military members who only exercise a few weeks prior to their biannual fitness test continually score worse than the year before. To beat last year’s score, they need to incorporate fitness into their regular routine.
If you’d like to eat to shed the unwanted pounds or follow a healthy, well-balanced diet, you’ll need to adopt the right habits over time as this is a lifestyle change. In the event you add exercise to your schedule 4 to 5 times per week, it’s imperative that you drink 2 to 4 quarts of water all day.
If you notice weight loss within the first week or two, you may not need to change your food intake too much. You’ll likely find that your body drives you to eat more fruits, veggies, and protein sources. For more ideas on what to eat, check out these links:
Focus on Flexibility
Stretching is highly important as it can increase scores on fitness tests and support overall conditioning. With a steady flexibility routine before and after you exercise, you’ll be able to continue working out. The chances of you having to stop your program due to joint stiffness or pulled muscles will be far less likely. If you’re a beginner who would like to add fitness to your schedule, I suggest this FREE Stretching Plan.
Add Fitness to Your Schedule
Fitness must be on your schedule so that you’re motivated to engage in it regularly. If it’s not on your schedule, it may not exist. Note that an early morning workout is three times easier to accomplish than a fitness session after work. If you include fitness in your schedule at 5 or 6 in the evening or later, conflicts may pop up and delay or cancel your workout. Just do what you can to get up and moving every day, regardless of how busy you may be.
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