Hawk on Health: Heather’s Top 5 Tips For Success

with Heather Hawk, Healthy Planet Fitness Writer

When referring to our fitness regimen, success is usually defined as reaching our goals whatever those goals may be. Life has a way of taking us off course and therefore distracting us from achieving success.  In my experience, there are a few key elements that can help keep you focused, motivated, and engaged in your active lifestyle at any age and any fitness level.

Set Goals: Establishing your goals in writing will help you stay focused when life wants to take you off your fitness course.  Write down your long-term (1 year) and your short-term (8 to 12 week) goals.  The short-term goals help you stay motivated to stay on track for the more distant goal ahead. When you begin to lose focus you can then look back at these statements to remind you of why you began your fitness journey.

Focus on Proper Form: Correct form and body alignment are critical in preventing injury in any activity. When beginning an activity, for example, weight lifting, consider hiring a certified fitness professional to show you the proper form for each exercise. Not only will proper form help to minimize injury but it will help to attain maximum results.  Sloppy form most frequently means you are not properly activating the muscles…therefore wasting your time in the gym.

Stay Consistent: A main key to success with your fitness regimen is consistency. Be realistic with your schedule. If you can only exercise twice a week that’s fine however make sure you fit in those two sessions. If your schedule allows, add another day. Maintaining a consistent routine will help you maximize all your results…most importantly improving your health!

The Combo Is Key: We tend to focus on either cardio or lifting weights.   The most effective and the healthiest combination is to include both forms of exercise in your regimen.  Cardio activities work the heart, the lungs, and burn calories.  Strength training establishes lean muscle to give the body shape, support the body, and boost the metabolism.  Regardless of your goals, these two forms of exercise are essential to get you there.

Find A Support System: This can be done in many ways. You can hire a personal trainer, join an online blog or workout group, and exercise with a partner.  Remember that you can have more than one workout partner such as a friend, a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a co-worker.  You don’t have to be on the exact same fitness level to be partners and to motivate one another.  A solid support system will help to motivate you when you feel like skipping the workout session.

Keep in mind that everyone defines success with their fitness regimen in a different manner.  For some weight loss is the goal or dropping a few pant sizes, for others lowering cholesterol or improving heart health is the motivation. Whatever your goal may be, applying these tips will help you get the most out of the effort you put in to your healthy lifestyle.

Got a fitness or health question?

Email Heather at