Setting reasonable goals key to weight-loss success

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Too many people sign up for exercise programs only to quit after a few sessions. The most popular excuses include, "I don't have time," "I'm too tired," and "It's not working for me."
"Rather than just saying you'll go to the gym a few days a week and then breaking that promise, we encourage people to set specific goals for themselves and build a defined exercise and diet program to achieve them," says Kendall Harrell, personal training manager for Life Time Fitness, a national health, fitness and nutrition company.
Harrell says setting a specific goal allows the individual to focus on training and drives motivation to exercise. "It's a lot easier to make it to the finish line if you have the goal in sight," adds Harrell.
For this reason, Life Time Fitness produces a series of athletic events, which serve as milestone challenges for members and non-members alike, who are seeking to set and achieve their fitness goals. At any point in time, thousands of amateur athletes from across the country and around the world are in training for these events.
Perhaps the most significant upcoming event is the 2004 Life Time Fitness Triathlon. scheduled to take place Saturday, July 17, 2004, in Minneapolis, Minn. The world-class event will feature same day network television coverage, the sport's largest prize purse, and an exciting field of the best professional triathletes from around the world. What's more, some 2,300 amateur athletes participate in the event, competing against each other on the same course as the professionals.
Why? Harrell says it's all about establishing a destination event that supports your health and fitness goals. "Deciding to compete in an event like the triathlon really challenges you to get in shape. The first step is to register. Once you commit to the event, you know the date and, importantly, the amount of time you have to train until your competition. This can be a key motivator in terms of establishing and sticking to your defined fitness regimen," says Harrell.
Life Time Fitness Triathlon Training Courses, tailored for beginners and advanced triathletes alike, are offered in the months and weeks leading up to the race. The weekly courses educate people on training schedules, strength and pace training, and the use of training equipment. Athletes also receive instruction in swim, bike, run and transition skills, and benefit from the opportunity to consult with a triathlon coach.
But, if a triathlon seems a bit too daunting, plenty of other similar goals are well within your reach. For example, consider running in your first five or ten kilometer race. Life Time Fitness offers 5k Reindeer Run events in several markets nationwide. The company also sponsors the Life Time Fitness Desert Dash, an annual adventure race in Nevada, for those seeking even more thrilling fitness challenges.
What's important is less about the specific event, but rather, taking advantage of an event to help you maintain your health, fitness and nutrition program. So, take the initiative to find an athletic event that sounds fun and challenging. Then, set your fitness goals and come up with a plan for achieving them. It's never too late to pursue a healthy way of life!
For more information about Life Time Fitness health, fitness and nutrition programs and services, or Life Time Fitness athletic events, log onto www.lifetimefitness.com or call (866) 321-7575.

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