Ready to start your fitness journey but don’t know where to begin? Don’t let fear and uncertainty keep you from getting into shape and experiencing the benefits of exercise. Take a step toward better health today by learning how to create a workout plan that’s right for you.
Determine Your Fitness Goals
An important step in creating a workout plan is determining your fitness goals. Creating a list of 1-2 goals you’d like to achieve from working out gives you a target to focus on. For example, if you want to improve muscle tone and definition, your workout plan may involve a combination of weight lifting and strength exercises several times a week. Fitness goals can also help you to maintain motivation toward exercising consistently.
Create A Schedule
The next step to create an effective workout plan is to determine the best time of day for you to exercise. Depending on your daily routine, it can be difficult to find extra time to take a fitness class or go to the gym. In order to find a good balance, try making small adjustments to your weekly schedule.
Start by writing down any appointments and commitments you have. When you’re reviewing your schedule, take note of the days and times you don’t have anything planned. These would be great opportunities to sneak in a quick workout.
Knowing what your fitness goals are helps you to decide the appropriate exercises needed to create your workout plan. The following are some examples of workout routines designed for specific fitness goals.
Read More: 5 Outdoor Exercises For Better Health
There are many benefits to a cardio routine including improved heart health and stress relief. The amount of time you spend performing cardio exercise varies with your fitness goals. It’s recommended to get at least 3.5 hours a week of a cardio exercise.
- jumping jacks
- walking (fast pace)
Read More: Heart Health Awareness
Strength Training & Endurance
Strength training has many benefits to physical wellness including improved muscle tone, bone strength and maintaining a healthy weight. Spending 20-30 minutes, 2-3 days each week of strength training will make a positive impact on your overall health.
- dumbbell squats
- dumbbell lunge
- leg press
- lat pulldown
- seated row
- gluteal kickbacks
Stretching exercises are great to include in your workout plan. They help improve flexibility, joint range of motion and increase blood flow to the muscles. Try adding some of the following exercises to your daily routine.
- resistance band training
- targeted stretches (ex: side stretch, neck roll)
When you are just starting out, consider the resources you already have available such as an exercise mat and weights. Over time you can add different techniques and equipment to get the most out of your workout. Along with choosing the right exercises, keeping track of your progress will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of your workout plan.
Track Your Progress
When creating a workout plan, it’s important to track your progress. This allows you to decide if adjustments need to be made to your workout methods or if your fitness goals need to be modified. If an exercise plan isn’t working for you, it’s okay to take a different approach.
While you don’t need an electronic device to help you meet a fitness goal, using one can be a source of motivation. Electronic trackers allow you to visually evaluate your progress over a period of time.
The following apps are a great way to track your physical activity and diet.
- Sweatcoin (available on Android and iOS) – allows you to earn credits towards purchasing items such as shoes, clothing and electronic devices.
- My Fitness Pal (available on Android and iOS) – a great way to track your calories, macronutrients, and daily exercise habits.
Keeping a fitness journal is another alternative if you choose to forgo an electronic way of tracking your progress. Something as simple as a notebook can be used to document the number of reps, weight and length of time spent on each exercise. There are also specially designed fitness journals to help you reach your goals.
Don’t Compare Yourself
As you work toward accomplishing your fitness goals, don’t compare your progress to others. Everyone’s fitness journey is unique. Each step you take toward living a healthier life is your own personal success.
If you happen to fall short of reaching certain fitness goals don’t be too hard on yourself. Continue to set new goals, create new plans and always congratulate yourself on the progress you’re making towards healthier living.