Thursday, June 24, 2010

Motivation & Exercise Goal Setting

Motivation and exercise goal-setting are two significant components if you want to improve your health, lose weight or simply become healthier. Motivation is the driving force behind your efforts. Goals are the milestones you set for yourself to achieve. Used together, motivation and exercise goals can help you achieve your objective.

The Facts
1. People who set goals tend to be more successful when it comes to reaching them. Setting a goal helps the idea for success become more concrete in your mind. You will need an open mind when setting your goals because you don't need to set goals that are too difficult to reach. Be reasonable and reward yourself when you reach a milestone.

2. Motivation is necessary to achieve any goal. When setting exercise goals, you need to stay motivated during times when you may feel tired, busy or when you hit a plateau. When you can see what you've done in the past to achieve success, you can work on the future. Goals and motivation work together to help you stick to a routine long enough to see results.

3. Goal setting is important because it forces you to be mindful of what you're doing (or not doing). If you have a list of exercises you should be doing marked on your calendar, you will be more apt to do them because you are reminded of it every time you look at your calendar. When you write down goals, you also have a way of monitoring your progress, states the Mayo Clinic. Staying motivated comes easier when you see success on paper.

Time Frame
4. Instead of setting one goal to lose 50 pounds in one year, break the goal down into smaller pieces, so you can enjoy moments of success. For example, instead of 50 pounds in one year, set a goal to lose one to two pounds per week. Seeing progress every week will encourage you to stay with your overall goal.

5. You can approach motivation and goal setting from different aspects. For example, writing goals down and keeping track every day can be motivating. You can also enlist the help of a friend with whom you can be accountable. Talking about your goals with someone else will help you stay focused. Using photographs is motivational when it comes to reaching your exercise goals. Visualization is also important to achieve any goal.

Hot Tub Exercises

Exercising in a hot tub is easy and can be enjoyable. The warm circulating water provides light resistance and offers a soothing way to perform water exercise. The National Arthritis Foundation recommends water exercise, and says it's a good way to relieve arthritis pain and build muscle. As with any form of exercise, always get clearance from a doctor first and immediately stop if you feel uncomfortable. Start these exercises slowly. You will have greater mobility in the hot tub since the warm water provides buoyancy. This makes it easier to relax and exercise your joints.

Warm up in the hot tub while seated by casually moving your legs up and down. Stick out your right leg and then slowly bring your right knee back toward your body. Straighten out your leg until the knee is locked, and repeat. Perform five repetitions and alternate the exercise with each leg three times. Build up to a point where you can do 10 repetitions with each leg for three sets.

Sit in your seat and slowly take a deep breath. As you exhale, gently contract your abdominal muscles as you force out the air. You don't need to do this exercise too quickly. Aim for five repetitions and eventually increase to three sets of 10.

Shoulder and Neck
Stand in the hot tub and gradually lower your shoulders under the water. Slowly roll your shoulders back and forth for five repetitions. Gradually increase to three sets of 10. With your shoulders still underwater, gently move your neck from side to side.

Cool Down
When you have completed your exercises, sit in the seat and close your eyes. Slowly breathe in and out and focus on your breathing.