Sat 18 Sep
In the last post I set myself a weekly exercise goal, which I was able to stick to (barring one wet day where I didn’t manage 6,000 steps). In general I’ve found that setting myself a goal has been the best way of ensuring I get enough exercise.
I’d like to continue this practice by setting myself health and fitness goals of two different levels:
- Short term: lose a little weight and run a parkrun in 25 minutes.
- Long term: develop and maintain sustainable good habits in terms of diet and exercise.
Let me explain these by detailing exactly what steps I am going to take to achieve these goals.
I have found that the best way to lose weight is calorie counting. It’s not very exciting, but it’s effective! I’ve just got back from holiday, and before the holiday I counted calories for three weeks and managed to lose a couple of pounds. I have a weekend away booked in 6 weeks, so my short term target is to lose 4lbs by then.
I have run 5km every weekend for the last couple of months. Starting from a pace of 5m45s per km, I’ve been reducing my target pace by 5 seconds per km every weekend since then. I’ll keep going until I run a parkrun in 25 minutes!
This video by cardiologist Rohin Francis led me to realise that one of the best things I can do for my long term health is to make exercise a regular part of my week. And so I’d like to continue my current exercise regime (if that isn’t too fancy a word!) in the long term. To recap, this is:
- 6,000 steps every day
- three dedicated bits of exercise every week (e.g. football, running, workout, …)
I’d like to add another target to this. The NHS recommends that adults should aim to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, and Fitbit has the concept of “active zone minutes” which I can use to track this. So each week I’ll aim to do 150 active zone minutes of exercise. This is a helpful addition on top of the number of steps I do, because it’s perfectly possible to do lots of steps in a day without raising your heart rate much.
It’s worth bearing in mind that these goals can change - in particular I’d like to set myself new short term goals every few months. Perhaps I’ll document them here, perhaps I won’t!