Fitting in Fitness: How to Set Workout Goals that Work

Fitness goals are always an interesting conversation for me. I am a fairly healthy and in good physical shape so I sometimes hear, “How often do you exercise and what do you do?” I am usually in the gym two to four days per week for at least an hour and each visit I am doing weightlifting, cardio or a Yoga/Pilates blend. But as you will read in a moment, my frequency and regimen is not “one size fits all.”

According to a recent JAMA Internal Medicine study, even one to two sessions per week, lasting 150 minutes, for a moderate workout, or 75 minutes for a vigorous workout, can lower your risk of death from all causes by 30%. Those numbers are very attainable…even for the busiest of people. But, we must keep this in mind: that it takes 21 days to form a habit but it typically takes 20 to 40 extra days to form that habit if you haven’t consistently exercised in months or years.


So, we know it takes 21 days (give or take) to make exercising a habit, and we know how much exercise we need to do to see long-term benefits…but how do we get there? Let’s go over some tips to help you set goals that you can easily and happily attain. And as a 90’s R&B fanatic, I am going to use Aaliyah song titles to do it!

  • “Try Again” – When I say try again, I really mean try EVERYTHING. ZUMBA®, weightlifting, hot yoga, cycling, meditation, swimming, jogging—YOU NAME IT! You don’t know what you’ll enjoy or what exercises (or even better exercise combo) your body will respond to until you have given various workout regimens a try.
  • “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” – There are few valid excuses, if any really, for not working out on a consistent basis; Age (obviously); current weight or fitness level; job requirements; spousal or parental duties; and the list goes on. Nothing should keep you from bettering yourself!
  • “One in a Million” – Never compare your fitness goals or routine to anyone else’s. Just getting your mind set to go work out is tough enough, so why add comparing yourself to others. Was the mental push not difficult enough? Put on your blinders and stay focused on your advances and yours ALONE!
  • “Are You Ready” – Get started TODAY! There is no time like the present to start with a walk down your block then hit 20 sit-ups. Keep working at it until you can walk a 1/2 mile and do 100 sit-ups. Every little bit counts and you will see improvement over time!


The biggest takeaway: your health and wellness are the most important things you can ever invest in! Working towards being in better physical shape is always a great choice. It’s a choice that  improves you and will also benefit those who love you most!


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