Even today, the wellness industry can be a minefield of unhealthy perspectives about our bodies. Fitness goals for women, in particular, are often still rooted in sexist and patriarchal ideals.
Messages around weight loss, needing to get rid of this or shrink that, or enduring rather than enjoying physical activity are everywhere. These messages can make it challenging to ease into a consistent fitness routine, and their insidious nature can even make you second guess your own motivations.
Here at A Sweat Life, we like goals. When you have them — no matter how small — they help you block out the noise and focus on what truly matters to you. Aiming to achieve fitness goals that are unhealthy, triggering, or rooted in shaming language isn’t how anyone should be in relation to their wellness journey.
So let’s talk about some non-weight-related fitness goals we can get behind.
1. To feel better in body and mind
The benefits of regular exercise are innumerable. Better sleep, less stiffness and pain, increased immune function, a stronger heart, and lower blood pressure are just a few benefits you’ll reap with a fitness routine. Regular exercise also eases symptoms of depression and anxiety, improves our coping mechanisms, boosts memory, and more.
Of course, while you can’t set a goal to have increased immune function, you can set a goal to go on a certain number of runs a week, move every day, or strength train three times a week with a very strong WHY — getting sick less. Find a “why” that matters to you and let that be what fuels your goal of consistently showing up.
2. To set yourself up for healthy aging
Although it can seem far off for some of us, aging well can be an extremely motivating goal — and experts say strength training is crucial to aging well.
When you exercise, you increase your bone density (stronger bones), your muscle mass (better balance and strength), and your overall balance and body composition, which are key to maintaining your ability to move through life.
You can think of a goal like three workouts a week as guarding and improving your quality of life not only today but for the rest of your life.
3. To increase your strength
There’s no other way to say it — it feels badass to move through life as a stronger person than you once were. To be able to pick up your dog or your child, to put your carry-on in the overhead compartment without help, to carry groceries without aches and pains or hurting yourself — these are just a few of the everyday activities you can work towards.
Being strong is a huge confidence booster, and it really does make your life easier. Whether you want to be strong enough to maneuver 30, 50, or 100 pounds with ease, it’s a goal that’s possible, step by step.
4. To build your growth mindset and goal setting
A growth mindset is a belief that you can improve on something with time, energy, and effort — your ability to do something isn’t predetermined.
A fitness journey is a masterclass in building your growth mindset and goal setting. Why? With consistency and effort, growth is inevitable. You may want to do 20 pushups, but your body will very quickly tell you if first you should consider building up to five.
But with dedication, you will improve and get there. The only way to grow is to focus on the challenge in front of you, give it your best, and keep trying. A goal of learning to set achievable, buildable goals is a life skill you’ll never stop benefiting from.