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Sample SMART Goals

Most people have already heard that setting goals is an important step in making thoughts and wishes a reality. Whether professional, personal, academic or health-related, the goal you set should be SMART. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic and Time-Bound. Time and again, these goals are more motivating and get you to the next level, no matter your objective. So, in the area of health, nutrition and fitness, what does a SMART goal look like (versus a general goal). Check out these 5 examples:

General: I will eat better. (what, how, when?)
SMART: I will eat 2 servings of green vegetables daily, at lunch and at dinner. (You can also specify a duration).

General: I will be more active. (how, what, when?)
SMART: I will wake up at 6:30 am (instead of 6:45 am) on M, W, and F so I can take a 15-minute walk (or bike ride) before getting ready for work. (You can specify a specific time for your walk).

General: I will eat less sugar to lower my blood sugar levels.
SMART: I will stop adding sugar to my coffee in the morning and have an afternoon snack of 1 oz nuts and a piece of fruit instead of 2 chocolate chip cookies.

General: I will de-clutter my bedroom closet and dresser drawers, donating some items.
SMART: Every Saturday afternoon for the next month I will go through 3 drawers and 1/4 of my closet. (Furthermore, you could add that you will have 2 piles: donate and throw away, etc).

General: I will start following the Mediterranean diet.
SMART: For the next month I will transition to a Mediterranean-style diet by doing the following: eating fish 2x/wk (Tuesday and Friday), snacking on nuts, and trying a new Mediterranean-style recipe on a Sunday evening.

Fitness Gifts for Home Workout Buffs

These days, working from home is more common and many are shying away from the gym atmosphere. This typically means less activity during the day. How to motivate yourself and others? How about exciting and versatile fitness equipment that takes up little space? Check these options out:

Strength Training Tools

Loop Resistance bands: not new but always highly recommended. They are lightweight, portable and inexpensive. Resistance bands enable you to work all muscle groups. Check out Fit Simplify or LetsFit Loop resistance bands. A set includes 5 bands of varying resistance levels, extra light to extra heavy.

Bowflex SelectTech adjustable weight: not unlike the original SelectTech dumbbells, this is a kettlebell version that replaces a set of 6 kettlebells. Twist the dial on this adjustable kettlebell to transition from 8 lbs all the way up to 40 lbs. Great for accommodating multiple exercisers without taking up too much space.

Suspension trainer: suspension training is a strength training system that uses ropes and webbing to allow a user to work against his/her own body weight. Using vertical or horizontal ‘anchor points’ enables you to increase or decrease resistance with changes in angle and degree. Perform all classic strength training exercises in new ways. Try the TRX suspension training systems or LifeLine Jungle Gym.

Cardiovascular Training Aids

Seated under desk elliptical: while not a full-body workout, this piece of equipment at least allows you to work your legs and get in some exercise. With Zoom meetings and sitting at your desk working from home being much more common these days, mini elliptical trainers are great for increasing activity and offer adjustable resistance. Check out a few of the top-rated models.

Just a pedometer: Looking to increase activity and track steps? Not looking for a pricey watch or ‘smart’ gadget? Try the 3DTriSport Walking 3D pedometer. This basic step counter accurately measures steps, is inexpensive, easy to use and works in any position. It will measure your steps whether it’s upside-down, around your neck or tossed in a bag.

Tips to prevent weight gain while working from hom...

Let’s face it, less activity and more food usually leads to weight gain. Thousands of Americans are working from home temporarily during the 2020 pandemic. Many of us are enjoying sit-down dinners together and have more quality time to spend with family. Many gyms remain closed which is bad news for those that depend on them for providing exercise options. Three tips to avoid weight gain while working from home:

  • Keep stepping: Don’t ditch your step count. You may not be able to log 10,000 steps per day but don’t give up on accruing and setting goals for daily steps. Adjust your goal to make it more realistic. Accrue steps inside your home, outside and around the neighborhood. Consider taking 10 minute ‘walking breaks’ throughout the workday. Check out fitness apps that make working out from home a solid option.
  • Have kitchen hours: If you were working in the office, would you frequent the cafeteria throughout the day? Probably not. Wandering in the kitchen out of boredom¬†leads to mindless snacking. Have set mealtimes and limit trips to the kitchen between meals (exception: water). If you like snacking, plan and prepare low-calorie snacks for long stretches between meals.
  • Weekly weigh-ins: Gaining weight in small increments creeps up on you and, if you aren’t paying attention, pounds can add up quickly. Most of us are working from home in comfortable clothes, not form fitting work clothes. Weighing yourself weekly can keep you honest. Body weight fluctuates so have a ‘weight window.’ For example, if you feel your best at 150 lbs aim to keep that window between 150 and 154 lbs. If it hits 153 lbs, it’s time to practice portion control and increase activity.