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5 Ways to Meet Your Health Goals

Provided by Kaiser Permanente
5 Ways to Meet Your Health Goals

Mike Kosel has set out to climb some of the world's highest mountains, and he's learned a few things along the way. His insights might inspire you to take your current exercise routine to the next level—or to embark on a whole new fitness challenge.

  1. Set realistic goals. Kosel didn't try to summit the world's tallest peak his first day out. He worked his way through increasingly challenging climbs over several years. He feels that setting realistic goals in the short term is the best way to reach your final objective.

  2. Educate yourself. Know what you need to succeed. For Kosel, having the right gear and knowing how to use it has been essential to his survival. Equally important, he believes, is learning how to deal with all kinds of situations, from twisted ankles to surprise weather.

  3. Train your body. The casual gym-goer can't become a high-caliber athlete overnight. Training has been an important part of Kosel's successes. "If you're not used to hauling 60 pounds of gear up a mountainside," he says, "that's something you need to train to do."

  4. Mix it up. Regularly switching up your exercise program is key to increasing your fitness level. If you always bike, try running a few days instead. Kosel likes to keep his body in a "state of confusion" by always working different muscles and keeping them on alert.

  5. Don't be afraid to fail. It's important to know your limits and when you should stop pushing forward. "As hard as it can be to turn back, it's important to remember that the mountain will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and next week, and next year," says Kosel. "Failure is okay, as long as you keep trying."

Kosel is an IT professional with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. He regularly commutes to work by bike, skis, or snowshoes, and his weekday workout includes cardio activities and weight training at the gym. On weekends he often takes part in cycling events, and whenever he can he heads for the mountains.
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