Fitness Goals: Reasonable versus Marketable

Be mindful of how you frame your New Years fitness goals. You may simply want to lose X pounds (not the greatest goal), complete a 5K run, or be able to perform pull-ups (better). But if you want something other than the typical January gusto and March fizzle, you should probably nudge the goals down by a notch or three.

Try to imagine long-term behavior changes that are helpful in a truly holistic sense. Various facets of life pose a challenge to achieving and maintaining health and fitness. Expect a struggle. Maintaining your priorities in life while changing wasteful habits happens only with careful thought and intent.

Here are a few important considerations.

Minding your diet is necessary.

But don't be unreasonable. Avoid cleanses, detoxes, intermittent fasting, nonintermittant fasting, and other plans that sound like fantastic extraordinary ideas. I often wonder why people resort to such foolishness when they haven't given simple, common sense changes a solid effort. Perhaps there is some psychological trick that extreme type diets provide. But they work against you in the long run when they fail to produce practical lifestyle changes.

Eating healthy does not help your brain, joints, and muscles to function in better posture and alignment. A healthy diet does not make you move with grace and efficiency.
Suppose that you manage to follow through with a highly restrictive diet and overzealous exercise plan. Your likely reward, at best, will be a short time of goal achievement followed by dropping out as "normal life" gets in the way. The body adapts to what it perceives as hard times and adjusts your baseline calorie needs.  You will find yourself tired and eating skimpy salads at every meal in order to avoid getting soft around the middle.

You don't have to be unreasonable with your diet when your physical activity level is somewhat on track.
Exercise is necessary.
But you don’t have to go crazy, especially if your diet is somewhat on track.

Without a proper foundation of flexibility and stability, and minding the details of HOW your body moves, the Insanity DVD, the mind numbing cardio, the epic full throttle heavy weight sessions, the Spartan Training, and competitive WODs, are all likely to cause more harm than good. And it's no fun to brag about Achilles tendonitis or lumbar radiculopathy on Facebook.
You workouts do not
need to look like this.
Suppose that you manage to remain uninjured in the extreme fitness plans. All the time and torture is rarely necessary. They are possibly beneficial for forging more elite fitness when you already possess elite fitness. But the 99% of us who have families, work, houses to maintain, and hobbies other than fitness will do much better with a more reasonable and structured exercise plan.

In the past I've watched TV preachers and wondered how they act in their personal lives. "Does that guy really behave that way as he goes about his day?" Recently I realized that the same critical eye should be applied to the high energy fitness DVD personalities.

Do your family, employer, and friends enjoy the version of you that must eat low carb, organic, etc. etc free every three hours and exercise 6 days per week? Some things are more important than...even deadlifts! Don’t imagine that what's best for a pro athlete or a fit 20 year- old living under their parents roof will be the best training plan for you.

Exercise is not an efficient means of achieving calorie control, a means that most of us legitimately do not have time for. Instead of merely burning calories, exercise to have fun being active with friends and family. Exercise to build strength, balance, and improve how your body moves, so that you feel willing and able to get involved with living away from the screen.


Longevity definitely wins in the health and fitness game. But considering what you will look and feel like in a year doesn't sell nearly as well as the 6 Weeks to Slim program.

Shameless PT PLUG: You may want to take that amount of time to work on your nagging shoulder and irritable lower back before going for it in the gym!
Prioritize your health and don't take it for granted. Be fit, look good, and measure the costs. Sleep well, recover well, and manage the stress in your life. These are the unmarketable and completely relevant components of achieving what you really need out of a diet and fitness plan.

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