Step Five: Set realistic goals
Defining your own goals
Ask yourself the following questions in order to help you define your
Am I just trying to improve my health and
decrease my risk of cardiovascular disease or do I also
want to significantly change my body composition (lose
3x/week may be enough to achieve the first goal, but many
(especially women) will need to exercise 4-6 times per
week to achieve both goals. If you are new to exercise, you may have to work up to 4-6 days per week.
How much time am I willing and able to spend
Be realistic--don't set yourself up for failure by
striving to exercise more often than your busy schedule
or lifestyle can accomodate. Most people will increase their fitness level faster by exercising 4-6 times per week, but
2-3 times per week will still have many benefits. Determining how much
time you have for workouts will also help you select a
video that fits the desired time frame.
Are you looking for "fast results?"
Remember that it will take time to turn an unfit, sedentary
person into a fit person. You can maximize your
progress by doing some of the following: choosing videos with cardio segments that are
at least 30 minutes long, including strength
training in your program, working out 4-6 times per week,
following a sensible diet that allows you to
expend slightly more calories than you ingest.
Cross-training (engaging in two or more different aerobic
activities over the course of the week) may also hasten
progress and help prevent overuse injuries. If you feel as if you are doing too much too soon, you probably are. Slow down a bit and take your time.
Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve your performance goals, and don't hesitate to share your successes, no matter how small, in the Reader Forum. Good luck!
Step Six: Creating a Rotation