Goals are helpful in changing our behavior by providing us focus, structure, and a metric to track our progress. Using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym ensures that these goals are not just practical and effective, but that they are also meaningful and relevant. When these aspects are met, we are more likely to follow through and stick with the goals we have set.
Begin by selecting a goal related to cardiorespiratory fitness. This could include walking, running, biking, stair-climbing, high-intensity interval training (which can be performed inside with minimal equipment), or other forms of cardiorespiratory exercise. Be sure the goal is S.M.A.R.T. as the following questions will ask you to specify how it meets each criteria.
1) What is your cardiorespiratory fitness goal? (“I will be able to…”)
2) What is your current level of ability related to that goal? (“I can currently…”)
Now that we have a goal, we will need to determine what activities to perform and how frequently to perform them. Using the F.I.T.T. acronym, come up with a weekly plan for achieving your goal.
3) My F.I.T.T. plan:
4) How is this goal Specific?
5) How is this goal Measurable?
6) How is this goal Actionable?
7) How is this goal Relevant?
8) How is this goal Time Bound?
Children generally do not need to be told to exercise – they get physical activity through their daily activities, through play. However, as we age, we often become more sedentary due to the modern format of work and learning. It can be very challenging to meet physical activity recommendations as an adult, as explored earlier in the class.
Given that people generally don’t stick with an activity they don’t enjoy, how can we make exercising fun?
1. What will you remember from today’s class a year from now?
2. Do you like the idea of “cardio” exercise? Why or why not?
3. Have you seen or experienced family members having heart problems? If so, what did that experience feel like?
4. Last week’s activity introduced the idea of nature being connected to health. What did you think when you did the walking in nature activity?
5. What do you think about it now that you’ve read about the research on nature and health?
6. How does what you learned today about nature connect to what you learned earlier in the course about the physical built environment?
7. What connections can you make between today’s class and the ideas from the first part of the course?
8. How well have you been keeping up with all of your classes and balancing all the demands on your time? Why?