Setting Physical Fitness Goals at Different Ages

Instructor: John Marini

I am a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic in New York State

Physical fitness plays a crucial role throughout life. From young to old, the state of our physical fitness determines the quality of our lives. Maintaining proper physical fitness at every stage of life can be accomplished by setting fitness goals.

Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness is a term that encompasses a variety of different meanings. In terms of health, being physically fit will help to reduce one's risk of disease and sickness. In addition, an individual is well-equipped to fight off these diseases and sicknesses if they are in a good physical state. Keeping your body in shape throughout life is a cornerstone in the healthcare community today. Health and fitness are being incorporated into society to better the quality of our lives.

The unique thing about this topic is that 'one size does not fit all.' Trying to stay physically fit is a constant challenge for all ages. And the requirements for staying or getting into good physical shape are different for people at different ages. For example, the fitness goals of a 10 year old are vastly different from those of an 80 year old person. But the similarity is that those fitness goals should be designed to positively affect people's lives. It is important, when setting physical fitness goals, that the goals be catered to the capabilities of the individual at their current age and health condition.

Components of Physical Fitness

The components that should be taken into account when setting fitness goals are:

  • Cardiovascular Health- which refers to how healthy the heart system is in a person and what level of activity their heart can handle
  • Pulmonary Health- which refers to how healthy the lung system is in a person and what level of activity their lungs can handle
  • Age of Individual- the goals need to be appropriate for the age the person is at
  • Weight of Individual- if someone is overweight or underweight for their age, you will need to modify the goals to take that into account
  • Current Health Condition of Individual- Does the person currently have any health issues? Or have they had and major health issues in the past? These are important factors that will shape the goals

Taking these components into account will help you to safely develop fitness goals for people of all ages. The two main fitness components that you will want to address are muscular strength and muscular endurance. Finding ways to improve these two components will greatly improve an individuals' physical fitness. There are many different ways to do this. It will be necessary to implement exercises and activities that increase muscular strength and endurance. In addition, developing an adequate diet will be the key to maintaining a healthier state of fitness.

There is an easy way to make sure you write an appropriate fitness goal. We can call them SMART goals. The goals need to be:

Specific- what are you trying to specifically achieve with this fitness goal?

Measurable- how can you measure or track the progress of the goal to know you've achieved it?

Achievable- is this goal something that this individual can achieve?

Realistic- is this goal something that is realistic for the individual trying to improve themselves?

Timed- what is the timeline of this goal? When would you expect it to be achieved?

Keeping this mnemonic in mind when developing fitness goals will be very helpful.

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