With spring only a week away, now is a great time to change your workout or start a brand-new routine. The warmer weather and longer days are perfect for walking, going to the park or biking. Today I’ll be sharing some ways how you can create a workout plan. With these tips in place, you can start this new season off on the right foot.
Determine Your Fitness Goals
An important step in creating a workout plan is determining your fitness goals. Knowing these goals helps you determine how much time, the setting and the types of exercises required to be successful. For example, if your goal is to improve muscle tone and definition, your workout plan may involve weight lifting and strength exercises at the gym several times a week.
In addition, keeping your overall fitness goals in mind helps you to stay motivated. A good way to maintain motivation is to create realistic and attainable goals. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a workout plan, as this is the surest way to throw in the towel.
Create A Schedule
The next step to create an effective workout plan is to determine the best time and environment for your workout. Many of us are juggling busy schedules, making it difficult to squeeze in extra time for fitness. In order to find a good balance, you need to make adjustments to your weekly schedule.
Start by writing down any appointments and commitments you have. I like to spend time each weekend reviewing my schedule for the upcoming week. This allows me to determine the best time to work out. When you’re reviewing your schedule, take note of the days and times that you typically don’t have anything planned. These would be great opportunities to sneak in a quick workout.
Referring back to step one, 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 workout.
- 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.
- resistance band training
- targeted stretches (ex: side stretch, neck roll)
In addition to choosing your workout exercises, taking into account the setting in which you will perform them is important. While the majority of these exercises can be done in a gym, many can be performed at home. When you are just starting out, consider the resources you already have available like 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
Creating a workout plan requires you to track your progress to determine any needed adjustments. If an exercise plan isn’t working to your benefit, you can take a different approach or eliminate the routine. There are many tools to help you in this process.
While you don’t need an expensive device to help you meet a fitness goal, using one can be a source of motivation. Tracking your progress this way also allows you to visually evaluate your progress over a period of time. Here are some popular ways to track fitness progress, most of which can be paired with your phone.
Fit Bit Flex 2
Although I have the following apps on my phone, I don’t use them as much as I should. I do however think both have great features that allow you to track your physical activity and diet.
- Sweatcoin (available on Android and iOS) – allows you to earn credits towards purchasing things such as shoes to 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 composition notebook can be used to document specific details from your workout, such as the reps of each exercise. There are also specially designed fitness journals to help you reach your goals.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Creating a workout plan is a big step towards improving the quality of not only your physical health but your mental well-being as well. As you toward accomplishing your fitness goals, don’t compare your progress to others. It’s easy to become discouraged when you see others around you who appear to be in better shape. Each of us is on our own journey and you should never envy or wish you looked physically like someone else. Know that each step you take towards living a healthier life is your own personal success.
If you happen to fall short of reaching certain workout goals don’t be too hard on yourself. I encourage you to get back up and keep trying. Continue to set new goals, create new plans and always congratulate yourself on the progress your making towards living a better life.
Thanks for reading,