staying active booklet

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Setting Goals

Setting goals is an effective way to increase your physical activity. Set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Write them down or tell someone. You can use the Active and Healthy SMART Chart to get started.

S Specific - Describe your goal clearly
M Measurable - How will you track the activity?
A Achievable - Can you meet this goal?
R Realistic - Can I achieve this goal?
T Timeline - Am I likely to achieve this goal in the timeframe?

Before you set your goals think about these factors

  • How active are you now?
  • How active would you like to be in 3 or 6 months’ time?
  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • Have you searched this website to see what exercise programs are available in your area?
  • Do you want to exercise at home or in the community?
  • Are there every day activities you find difficult? (For example going up and down stairs)

You may also want to break your SMART Goal into smaller steps (monthly) that are more achievable.

For example, your 6-month goal might be to walk for 40 minutes per day, 6 days a week. You could plan to start walking for 10 minutes per day, 2 days a week and increase the amount you walk over time.

Track your progress

Set and record your own SMART goals on this Active and Healthy SMART Chart or use a pedometer, activity monitor or an app on your phone or device. For each SMART Goal you set, choose a goal that focuses on doing the activity (such as walking, swimming or cycling) rather than the result (such as weight loss).

As your strength, fitness and balance improve, you can reassess your SMART goals and increase your level of activity. You can do this in various ways. For example:

  • You can increase the time of each exercise session
  • Increase the number of times per week you exercise
  • Increase the number of repetitions of your exercises, and/or
  • Increase the resistance or weights used
  • Add in a new activity

Celebrate Success

Measure your success over time. Time yourself or count how many repetitions of an exercise you can complete. Tracking the improvements in your fitness, strength and balance will also help keep you motivated. Make sure you reward yourself when you reach your goals, and give yourself an incentive to keep with your exercise program. Just try to avoid using food as a reward.

Share your success with friends and family- your success may also encourage them to become more active and healthy.

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