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Setting Specific Goals

28 Feb 2008

Now that you have established your motivation for exercising, it’s time to clarify a specific goal. Once you can visualize where you want to be, you have to start planning how to get there!

Most of our goals focus on being in better shape overall for a specific activity or challenge and we all have different ways of phrasing these similar aims. Recovering from an injury, having more energy, increasing strength, and improving flexibility are all common goals. But these aspirations aren’t specific enough. In order to have a unique, effective, and customized fitness program, goals need to be specific and measurable. Professional guidance at this stage can be indispensable in reaching better health.

If your goal is to recover from an injury, you will need to start with improving the strength and flexibility of muscles surrounding the specific ailing joint or muscle. If you haven’t already worked with a physical therapist or other rehabilitative care professional, consult with one before starting any exercise program. They can assess the extent of your injury, recommend and demonstrate relevant exercises, and even help with setting reasonable goals within a practical time-frame for recovery. Making an appointment with a rehab specialist can be the first clear, measurable goal you set. Once you’ve done that, you can set a long-term exercise plan after discussing goals for your specific injury and condition with a qualified professional.

Setting goals to increase energy and alleviate chronic pain should also start with the help of a health care specialist such as an endocrinologist, rheumatologist, or similar professional with an expertise in your specific condition. Your health care provider can not only help you set specific goals, they can also inform you of any potential setbacks you may encounter as you work towards a more energetic, pain-reduced you. Try not to let these challenges deter you as your health care specialist can provide you with the support and resources you may need. They may even be able to recommend an exercise specialist that will devise a structured, practical exercise program balanced with your special health issues and goals.

If you still feel as though you may need more than regular checkups with your doctor to meet your goals safely and efficiently, consider the help of a qualified exercise specialist. There are several pointers you should consider as you look for the right professional for you.

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