Finding a fitness program that fits your lifestyle – and one that will last beyond the 7 weeks, 21-days, or 12 week programs out there – can be difficult. Even just trying to workout on your own when you find the time, while trying to follow a path can be overwhelming and leave you simply feeling lost. Understanding some basic ground rules to working out, can help take the stress away and lead you to creating a program that works for you; a program that that is sustainable and will get you excited to complete every day.
Step 1: Pick Your Goal
- Everyone’s fitness goals will vary whether by time allowed, type of workouts, injury reasons, health reasons, or by body type wanted.
- Remember this is not just about what you want to look like but what you want to feel like. Try not to make this goal a weight goal. Weight goals can be so unrealistic to what we really want to achieve.
- Choose a goal for yourself to start. It can be very broad, or specific at this point. We will build the specifics in the following steps. Don’t be afraid to make it fun too.
- These are some examples:
- “I want to be able to run a 5k by the New Year.”
- “I want to be able to squat my body weight in 3 months.”
- “I want to feel better for my overall health by my 40th birthday.”
Step 2: Choose What Exercises You Most Enjoy
- Your workouts don’t need to be the same boring moves everyday. You can mix it up when you want. The key is to find ways to be active almost every single day.
- Some days may just be scheduling in a walk. You can take your children on a walk, your dog on a walk, or even go on a walk with a co-worker for your meeting.
- Good examples of fun activities to incorporate into the normal gym or at home routine:
- bike riding
- volleyball or team sport
- Check out these daily workouts by Tone it Up that give you different exercises to complete each day and are fun to follow along.
Step 3: Set up a Time Limit to Accomplish your Workouts
- This step is very important. Make sure you schedule in the time for your workout or fitness activity. Figure out what time amount you want to start with. If you are a beginner or can’t seem to find the time, maybe starting with a 15 minute session would work best for your level. You can always increase the time as your strength increases.
- Some programs provided by BeachBody have timed workouts. A program like BeachBody can allow you to select a program or video that fits your time needs.
Step 4: Schedule these into Your Weekly Schedule
- Scheduling these in as if they are mandatory meetings will make sure they are a top priority to get done in the day.
- Figure out what time works best for you to workout:
- First thing in the morning
- In the afternoon
- Or in the evenings
- Use a program like Google Calendar to schedule your workouts in and set reminders for yourself.
Step 5: Set Up Performance Measures Monthly
- Keep track of where you are and what things you want to change or should change. A great tracker to check out is a Fitbit. Fitbit allows you to track your overall steps, hydration, sleep, exercise, heart rate, and you can even set your goals.
- If your workout has become too easy, look to change it by adding different workout or lengthening the time or intensity.
- To lengthen the intensity, look to increase your repetition, or don’t take as many breaks.
- Try adding in some more complex moves like burpees or jump squats.
To recap, we have 5 steps to really design our fitness program to help allow us to stick to it our goal. First, we set our goal and then figure out what types of workouts do we enjoy or can enjoy the most. Then, looking at the schedule and assessing current fitness level, we allot a set time to workout. Next, we take those workouts, with our goal in mind, to set up time each week to schedule them in – like a mandatory meeting or doctor’s appointment that cannot be moved. Then lastly, mark those calendars for monthly performance measures to be able to cheer on your success!
Looking for a good place to start? Check out 7 Must Haves to make your workout (with kids) more do-able!
Photo credits: Elena Ollick, Healthy Living with KT