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4 tips for achieving your fitness-related goals

Do you have a health-related goal that you are struggling to achieve? When it comes to fitness, people tend to over-complicate things. But sometimes, keeping it simple really is better. Here are my top four tips for achieving your goals:

Be consistent

The key to seeing results — whether your goal is to decrease body fat, gain muscle, or get stronger — is to stay consistent with your workouts (and with your nutrition).  For beginners, working out three to four times a week is ideal.  You won't see the results you're after if you go to the gym every day for a week but then skip the rest of the month.  Schedule your workouts in your planner and make them a part of your regular routine. Also, if you're doing a different form of exercise every time you walk into the gym you aren't going to see the results you want as quickly.  Choose a type of exercise and stick to it regularly.

Do what you enjoy

Going to the gym regularly is easier when you look forward to it. Find a form of exercise you look forward to doing, whether it's lifting weights, doing cardio, taking classes (being in a group setting can be more motivating) or yoga. If you find yourself dreading your workout routine, you most likely aren't going to stick with it for long.

Focus on the journey, not the destination

Although you should always keep your end goal in mind, you should also enjoy the journey.  You aren't going to reach your goal overnight, and in order to not get discouraged you should celebrate the progress you make along the way.  Be proud of yourself when you can increase the weight each week or can run a little longer without needing a break.  If you focus on the end goal, which may take months or even years to achieve, chances are you won't stay consistent (or motivated) for long.

Have someone to keep you accountable 

It's easy to skip the gym when you have other things going on.  The holidays are a busy time of the year and when most people tend to ditch the gym (and make excuses to eat more). Having someone to keep you accountable will make sticking to your gym schedule easier.  Schedule gym dates with a friend or hire a personal trainer (or do both). Knowing that someone else is counting on you and looking forward to you showing up will help you to stay committed. Hiring a personal trainer with a friend can save you money, as well as help to increase motivation (and add a bit of friendly competition, too).

Veronica McNelis is a personal trainer at RISE gym in King of Prussia. You can reach her here.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.