5 Fitness Goals That Have Nothing to Do With Losing Weight (Good Health Rx)
Posted: Jan 12, 2023 in In the News
This article orginally appeared on Goodrx.com on January 12, 2023.
Millions of Americans jump out of bed on January 1 with renewed enthusiasm for tackling a goal. As admirable as it is to shoot for self-improvement, some of the most common health-related New Year's resolutions aren’t very effective. They tend to be vague, unrealistic, or irrelevant to the end goal of living a healthy, happy life. No wonder success rates are so low. According to some estimates, more than half of resolvers ditch their goals just one month into the new year.
Weight loss is one of the most common resolutions people make every year. But if well-being is your real goal, weight loss is not the best way to get there, an October 2021 study suggests. It’s often more helpful to focus on specific shifts toward a healthier lifestyle –– like building muscle or eating more whole grains. These changes can offer a real longevity boost and help you increase your fitness without obsessing over the number on the scale.
"Health and fitness goals should not only be about your physical appearance," says Veronica Najera, master trainer for YogaSix in Sugar Land, Texas.
"There are many things we can do to improve our overall health. If you only think of cardio exercises in relation to the calories they burn, you might miss other important fitness targets, like strength and flexibility," Najera explains. "Adding fitness routines with different goals can help you in the long run."
Fitness goals that aren't focused on weight loss
Diet culture prioritizes thinness and restrictive eating habits over health and wellness. And, unfortunately, diet culture is pervasive. Just think of all the ads you've seen for products that promise to help you burn fat and lose weight fast. These ideas are so common that setting fitness goals based on weight is a default for many people, explains Erin Nitschke, Ed.D., a certified personal trainer, exercise science instructor, and health coach at the American Council on Exercise.
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