Do you like goal setting? Does it help motivate you? For most of us I expect it’s a matter of balance. We don’t want to be ruled by ‘achievement targets’ but having a goal every so often is very helpful. This is particularly the case for fitness. In fact, I would say that we all have fitness goals, from simply trying to stay generally active to something more tangible, like training for an event.
Fitness goals are very satisfying targets to set and meet. Not only do we know the theoretical benefits of getting fitter but we see tangible results in increased energy, fewer colds, and for us Nordic walkers – toned arms and a trim waist! Goals don’t have to be big – just something by which you can measure your progress and give yourself that metaphorical pat on the back. You often tell us about the little things that have made a big difference to you – so here’s a list (big and small) of some that you’ve mentioned:
- Moving from walking at the back of the group to being in the middle (or even at the front!).
- Progressing from walking on the flat to walking in one of our hillier venues
- Clocking how puffed you feel on a particular hill and assessing your fitness progress every time you go up that hill.
- Doing a particular stretch at the end of the walk and noting how your flexibility increases over the weeks
- More recently, booking two classes back to back or joining one of our two hour stamina building walks.
- Signing up for one of the Nordic walking challenge events – which offer 5,10 and 20k distances
As a club, I would say that one of the most enjoyable challenges we set ourselves last year was entering the Bristol10k. It was the first time Nordic walking was represented and people made a gratifying amount of fuss about us (the press referred to us as the ‘Nordic army’!). It was immensely rewarding and great fun.
Going forwards, we have lots of ideas about ways in which we can help you measure your progress (if you want) and see how your fitness has improved through Nordic walking. Those of you who have completed our survey will have seen our suggestion of a log book, to record not only fitness improvements but also technique development (plus a whole raft of other stuff). However, many of the best ideas come from you (of course) so thank you for all the comments and suggestions you have made in our survey – we couldn’t do it without you!