Exercise Challenge Week 1: Setting Goals

Guidelines to Follow:

Many of you may already be exercising (yay!) or you may have taken a hiatus from it and are ready to get back to it. Either of these situations are fine- we can work from your individual starting point. However, there are some general guidelines you should try to follow during this challenge:

  • Try for at least 3 days a week of activity.
  • Any amount is better than none, but aim for 10-20 minutes, even if that means breaking it up into multiple daily sessions.
  • Listen to your body. If it’s telling you what you are doing is too much, back off. If it is telling you it’s feeling good, push yourself a little bit. We all have good and bad days and exercise days are no different. If you listen to your body, you will know exactly how much you can push yourself each day.
  • Right now, any activity is good. We will be building up to try for a mix of cardio and strength training so be sure to keep that in mind as you select your exercise type.

Let’s Talk Goals:

When it comes to our health, we almost always have goals. This is a good thing, as having something to strive for can serve as a motivator and a way to measure one’s progress. However, often our goals are arbitrary, immeasurable, unclear, or unattainable. To help with that, we are going to talk SMART goals- what are they and how they can help you achieve your goal. While we are discussing this in terms of exercise, SMART goals can be applied to any aspect of your health.

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific. So to set a goal, we must try to align it with all five of these guidelines. So let’s take an example:

If you want to start exercising you might say, “I am going to start running.” You might even say, “I am going to start running three times a week,” which is more specific than the first, though still has some information missing. Some initial questions one might ask are 1) have you ever ran before or are you currently running? 2) What days will you run? 3) What time of day? 4) Will you run the same amount of time each time? And it can go on and on. So instead, set your goal to align with SMART goals. For my exercise I am going to run three days a week- M/W/F- for 30 minutes each day. Once I have done this for eight weeks, I will increase Monday’s run to 45 minutes. I am already running twice a week so this isn’t a big jump for me while also challenging me a bit more. With the increase of time after eight weeks, I am continually challenging myself.

This could be for weight loss too. Instead of “I want to lose weight” can you say how much, by what date, and what specific steps you will take to do so? This will be a more likely way to reach your goal.

Fitness Testing #1

We will do some basic fitness tests throughout the challenge to at first see where you stand fitness-wise, then to measure your progress across the eight weeks. Each time the tests will be the same and can be done with little to no equipment. You will complete these tests at home and then send your results by either clicking on the “Submit Results” button on Week 1’s email or email directly to us at Lamia@amexhealth.net . The tests to complete this week include:

  • 1 mile test: Run or walk a mile as quickly as you can. Send in the time it took you to complete the mile.
  • Push-up test: Do as many push-ups as you can in 1 minute. Send in the number of push-ups you completed.
  • Squat test: Do as many squats as you can in 1 minute. Send in the number of squats you completed.
  • Plank test: Perform a plank on your knees or toes for as long as possible. Send in the time you held the plank.

Week 1 Workout

Workout Link (28:00 workout)


Weekly Challenge:

Starting SMART: Setting Goals Challenge

Why It’s Important: We just discussed the importance of setting goals, specifically SMART goals. If you want to be successful in this challenge, lets get as specific as we can.

Your Challenge: Write three SMART goals and send them to your health coach this week- one for exercise, one for nutrition, and one for mindfulness. If you aren’t sure how to make them SMART, we can help you! But these goals will be used by both your coach and hopefully to measure your success during this challenge!


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