How to Set Healthy, Achievable Fitness Goals
By Virtua Fitness Center Staff
It’s no secret that exercise is vital to health—preventing chronic disease, reducing stress, and adding to your overall well-being. But it can difficult to know how to get started, especially if you’ve never exercised before.
To create an exercise program that’s healthy and sustainable, it’s important to set fitness goals that are realistic and specific to your individual needs.
Set small steps toward big goals
A critical piece in setting fitness goals is to set small, incremental steps, instead of one huge goal. Don't try to “jump from point A to point Z.” Instead of saying, ‘My goal is to work out an hour every day,’ set a goal to work out 30 minutes a day, 2-3 days a week. It’s important to hit small goals on your way to your larger one.
When people try to push for a huge goal, 9 times out of 10, it ends in failure because it’s overwhelming and unachievable. A lot of people get discouraged, and they stop working out.
Measure success in more than pounds and inches
There are many ways to measure fitness, including non-scale victories (NSVs). While weight loss and endurance are common goals, the staff at Virtua's William G. Rohrer Fitness Center - Voorhees recommend NSVs like walking further, standing longer, feeling less pain, or sleeping better. We have you work toward activity goals to see if you can do things you may have never done before.
For some people, a goal can be as simple as reaching up to take something off a shelf, or sustaining an activity like walking or jogging for one minute. Another common goal is to have more stamina, flexibility, and strength—or even more energy to keep up with kids or grandkids.
Create unique goals
At Virtua, fitness specialists work with you to create unique goals. In an initial session, your fitness specialist will measure your blood pressure, body fat, weight, and heart rate, and then discuss your exercise history. After the initial assessment, you spend time together on the fitness floor to find exercises you like. This can help you get back on track with a past routine, or go in a different direction if you have new or different needs because of illness, injury, or age.
Honor your fitness journey
Fitness is a journey that's different for everybody. You have different needs and abilities, which is why it's necessary to set realistic fitness goals based on what YOU can do, not trying to meet someone else’s standard. It’s important not to compete against other people—it's about you becoming healthier, better, or stronger than you were yesterday.
At the Virtua William G. Rohrer Fitness Center - Voorhees, we believe a healthy mind and body are essential to healthy living. We understand that joining a fitness center is often a big commitment. For this reason, we offer a variety of services to keep you active and motivated, including:
- Medically focused fitness programs
- Personal training
- Group exercise classes, including Pilates and yoga
- Lap pool, aquatic exercise, and warm-water therapy
- Child care
Updated May 3, 2022