Unrealistic Fitness Goals from Unrealistic Fitness Goals You Should Avoid
Unrealistic Fitness Goals You Should Avoid
Unrealistic Fitness Goals
Did you ever stop to consider the fact that, no matter how hard you try, the reason you can’t seem to reach the results you want is because your goal is actually unrealistic?
With so many misconceptions and crazy claims about fitness being thrown about popular culture, it’s completely possible that you’ve set out to achieve a feat that’s pretty much impossible.
Aiming for an aesthetic similar to a celebrity's.
You can’t change your body type. Everyone is different and your genetics have a significant effect on the appearance of your natural physique. Instead of aiming to get abs like David Beckham’s or arms like Michelle Obama's focus on loving and appreciating the body you were born with and work on developing the best version of yourself.
Working out every day.
There's a difference between being active everyday (essential for good health) and working out every day (potentially hazardous to your health, especially if you're exercising at high intensities). This is especially true for those adding exercising to their routine for the first time. It's common to think something along the lines of, "I'm going to work out every day so I can reach my goal as fast as possible," but in reality not only can going from 0 to 60 lead to injury, but aiming to exercise every day will be difficult to maintain and therefore will likely lead you to feel disappointed when you can't sustain the habit. If you're just beginning a new exercise program, try starting out with three workouts per week and then add more days as your fitness starts to increase. And no matter what level you're at, always remember to schedule in rest days so your body can recover.
Yes, calorie counting can be a healthy and helpful tool for those with weight loss goals. However, a daily calorie allowance should be treated as a guide rather than something that’s set in stone. Calories will never be an exact science, so for example, if you hit your calorie goal for the day but your body is telling you it's still hungry, it's better to eat something than restrict yourself because you've already eaten all that you're "allowed" for the day.
While it’s certainly not unrealistic to aim for a healthier diet, the common idea of “dieting” and diets that call for a complete overhaul of your current eating habits are typically unsustainable. Instead of taking drastic measures like completely cutting out an entire food group all at once or restricting yourself from your favorite foods, aim to form healthier eating habits by setting small goals, like adding one vegetable to each meal every day. This way, you can learn to maintain a more nutritious diet consistently over time.
Choosing the wrong workout for your body type.
Amanda Russell, fitness expert and creator of FitStrongandSexy.com provides an example, “If you naturally have bigger or more muscular thighs, but you’re aiming for slightly slimmer legs, spinning might not be the best option for you.” Of course, as we mentioned earlier, you can’t change things that are determined by your genetics like your body type or bone structure, but if feeling your best means slimming down in certain areas you will want to make sure you’re implementing the right type of exercises.
No matter how many times magazines use a headline like “Flat Abs Fast,” unless you are already highly fit or were blessed with really fortunate genetics, it’s likely you will never be able to achieve six-pack abs in a short amount of time (like 20 minutes or even 2 weeks). The truth is, a shredded stomach is extremely hard to attain and doing so requires a lot more than performing ab exercises every day. It’s not impossible, but it is a lot of work.
Losing more than 2 pounds per week.
The weight loss industry wants you to believe that you can get fit fast. Diet products and exercise programs will promise to help you lose something like 30 pounds in 30 days, but the truth is that losing weight at such a quick rate is not only unrealistic, but it can be unhealthy for your body, too. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that those who want to lose weight aim to lose one to two pounds per week; two pounds per week being the maximum rate at which they advise as safe.
Strength training exercises will increase the mass of and strengthen specific muscles, but they will not burn fat from the area. If you’re aiming for ripped abs or shredded arms, exclusively performing endless reps of a certain exercise won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Yes, your muscles will become more defined, but you can’t choose which parts of your body will shed fat first by exercising those specific areas.
The thigh gap.
Apparently this aesthetic became popular and widely desired by many women after the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, which, unsurprisingly, featured tall, thin models, most of whom appeared to have space between their slender inner thighs. The trend is particularly prevalent among teen girls; a search on almost any social media sight will yield results of photos with comments of praise for girls whose bodies feature such a physique. However, achieving a thigh gap is a highly unrealistic goal for many women. No matter how much you diet and exercise, nothing will change the structure of your hip and leg bones (this goes back to that whole genetics thing again). As Sacramento Bee columnist Kelly Richardson put it simply, “Some people have body skeletons that have their legs closer together and some people have narrow hips that makes getting a thigh gap an unreasonable goal.”