COVID-19 has come in and caused all types of issues for runners and those in fitness. It can be difficult to stay motivated during such uncertain times. Setting fitness goals is vital to your health, no matter what’s going on. Right now, it’s more important than ever to have well thought out goals for your health and fitness.
Before deciding on your goals, it’s important to understand why exercise is so important during COVID-19. Whether you’re a runner or you just want to stay in shape, it’s more important than ever to know-how.
Why Exercise is Essential During COVID-19
Regular exercise provides a number of important benefits including:
- Reduces stress
- Helps prevent weight gain
- Boosts your immune system
- Improves Sleep
Finding a way to get exercise during a lockdown situation isn’t easy. While you might be able to go out for a run, local ordinances might put restrictions on what you can and cannot do.
Regardless of the situation, it’s important to exercise regularly. Even if you miss a day due to changing schedules or another reason, getting back to exercise the next day is vital to your health.
Setting Fitness Goals During COVID-19
Whether you’re a runner struggling to focus or you’d usually workout five times a week and you’re struggling to get a couple of workouts in, you need goals. Fitness goals provide motivation and give you something to focus on outside the craziness of the world and the pandemic.
If you’re a runner, the TOGETHERelay website is now offering an “open course” style of racing. This type of racing offers the feeling of a live event without the crowded finish line. Check out my interview with Greg Lanctot about open course racing here.
Creating goals during COVID-19 doesn’t need to be difficult. It starts with evaluating your current situation and using what you have, rather than getting upset about what you don’t have.
If you used to go to the gym and you cannot, it’s time to adjust. Gyms may not open anytime soon, so be prepared to adjust for several months with your fitness goals and routines. Here are a few tips to help you come up with fitness goals during COVID-19.
1. Setting Simple Fitness Goals are Better
Don’t make your goals too difficult or you could lose motivation quickly. Keep it simple and focus on one goal at a time.
We are living through very difficult times right now, so don’t set goals that will cause even more stress. Your fitness goals should be attainable but should push you, at least a little bit.
2. Use SMART Goals
SMART goals offer a great solution to ensure you choose fitness goals that will actually motivate you. SMART is an acronym, which stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Action-Oriented
R – Realistic
T – Time-Bound
The Aces.edu website has a great SMART goal explanation here.
3. Use Baby Steps
When you set a big goal, you will likely need to achieve many smaller goals to hit that big fitness goal. For example, if you’re new to running, you probably won’t go for a 10-mile run your first time out. Instead, you’ll start with running one mile, and then two miles, and so on.
Choosing big fitness goals during COVID-19 can be stressful, and who needs more stress right now? It’s okay to set big goals if you give yourself plenty of time and you break them down into smaller baby step goals.
4. Speak with a Professional
With the way things are right now, it might be difficult to figure out how to set goals on your own. Talking with a fitness professional will help put you on the right track.
While a professional trainer can certainly help you set good fitness goals, they will also provide some accountability. If you’re checking in with a trainer or running coach regularly, you’ll be more likely to stay on track.
Use these tips to ensure you stay healthy and fit during COVID-19. It doesn’t look like it will be over anytime soon, so it’s time to set fitness goals for the times we are living in and get to work!