What is a Safe Workout Goal?
Monica Segeren
healthy fitness goal

When starting your journey to working out and bettering your overall lifestyle, it can become unhealthy without you realizing it. It is important to set realistic and healthy goals in order to achieve your fitness level that you want to achieve. A very popular acronym is S.M.A.R.T. and is broken down into 5 sections by WebMD like so: 

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Method

“Here’s one example of how to do it. Look at your fitness device to see how many calories you burn a week by exercising. Let’s say it’s 1,000 calories.

Use that data to bump up your calorie burn. For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal is “I will walk enough to burn at least 1,250 calories through exercise this week.”

  • Specific. Rather than simply saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” you’ve specified how many calories you’ll burn.
  • Measurable. Your device will (roughly) track the calories you burn, so you’ll be able to clearly know when you succeed.
  • Attainable. Since you’re already burning 1,000 calories a week through exercise, bumping it up a bit should be manageable. To burn 1,250 calories, you’ll need to add about one extra workout.
  • Relevant. Exercise is totally relevant to weight loss! So exercising more fits into your larger weight loss plan.
  • Time-bound. This is your goal for this week. Period. You can choose to pursue this goal again next week, or you can set a new goal. It’s easier to commit to a goal and be successful—if you do it for a set amount of time.”

The importance of the S.M.A.R.T. Method is to know what your limits are. Say that you work out fifteen minutes a day on average…increase it by five minutes each week or even biweekly. Do not start off by working out 7 days a week for 45 minutes a day when you haven’t worked out in 2 years. Rest days are just as important for your body as the days you work out.  Another important tip is to really focus on your fitness goal rather than setting a goal to lose weight. 

Focus on doing one more rep rather than losing one more pound. You can get your BMI appropriately checked with a personal trainer if that makes you more comfortable. The most important thing about any fitness or weight loss journey is understanding that starting is the best thing that you can do.

Here are some other ideas for workout goals: 

  • If you have not been to the gym before, set up a meeting with a personal trainer 
  • Set a goal to workout 3-5 times a week depending on your comfortability. Whether it’s HIIT, boxing, yoga, walking, etc 
  •  Set a time of day in your schedule for when you will work out every day 
  • Do workouts that make you feel good! 

When it comes to a safe workout goal, do not overexert yourself, be easy on yourself, and realize that changes do not happen overnight. Instead of taking weekly progress pictures, take one a month. Instead of weighing yourself every day, weigh yourself once a week. Be mindful of your body and your mind when it comes to how you are feeling. If you are ever concerned, contact a doctor right away. Stay well, stay healthy! 

The BetterYou app uses behavior science to improve digital health and make it stick.

Want to learn how?