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My personal physical fitness program: Physical Goals and Opportunities

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Physical Goals

My physical goals include increasing my fitness levels as well as weight loss. I would like to work on strengthening my body through gym and yoga whilst also embarking on a cardio routine that will mainly include running and hopefully other new forms of cardio I have not done such as spinning. Overall, I would like to embark on a program that is sustainable and results in a more active, healthy lifestyle rather than simple bouts of activity throughout the year. I want to achieve this goal in the next 3-4 weeks in order to establish a routine that I will stick to for the remainder of the year. Studies state that it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so this time frame is well suited to my needs. I understand it will take more time to lose weight at a healthy pace and build muscle, however I am hopeful that this will develop over time and continue after the project span.

Threats and Opportunities

Being in matric, it is difficult to find time in my busy schedule to incorporate a regular fitness routine. My schedule is notably inflexible and free time is almost always spent studying or doing assignments. I will have to commit to setting aside times to incorporate physical exercise. This will involve changing my mind set to view exercise as a necessity so it becomes part of my routine rather than something I need to make time for.

My diet is extremely high in calories and not particularly healthy. I do not take particular care over what I eat and focus more on intake which will increase my energy and stamina rather than healthier choices. This means it will be difficult to change my diet.

I do not have a gym membership. This means that I will have to sign up for a gym or find classes where no membership is required.

In the past, cardio has been my primary form of exercise as I am an avid runner and enjoy this form of exercise. My body is not extremely strong and whilst it might be easier to regain my fitness levels, dedicating myself to strengthening activities will be far more difficult.

I leave for school very early in the morning. This means I often neglect to eat breakfast which is important in order to kick start ones metabolism and start the day on a healthy note.

This year has been incredibly stressful. I understand the emphasis that will be placed on my results in order to get into medicine. This means I often find my cortisol levels are quite high which affects my mood and my personality. Regular cardio has been proven to be a brilliant way to decrease cortisol levels and improves ones mood. I am hoping that by incorporating this into my weekly routine I will be able to lower my stress levels and feel better mentally overall.

Studies show that regular exercise also improves memory retention as it increases oxygen to the brain. This will also help me in my studies and in exam situations to obtain the very best results by ensuring I remain sharp.

Matric has been linked with increasing levels of depression. A healthy diet has been proven to combat this and increase ones mental health. It could be a good preventative measure to protect my mental health.

In taking up strengthening activities such as gym (weight training) and yoga, I hope to improve the way my body looks and thus increase my confidence levels over how I look and feel.

Taking up a stringent diet plan will force me to eat healthier and at all allocated meal times (including breakfast).

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