Whether you want to lose weight, tone your body, or just maintain your health, working out is important for everyone. Regular exercise helps fend off obesity, heart disease, and other potentially fatal physical conditions. Plus, it even helps improve your mental health and fights depression, anxiety, and stress. However, everyone has different needs when it comes to working out depending on their body, lifestyle, schedule, goals, and more. A workout plan that works for your best friend or co-worker is not necessarily the plan that’s best for you in the long run. Creating a workout plan that is tailor-made specifically to benefit you can help you actually enjoy exercising and reach your goals more quickly and easily.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
Don’t tell yourself that you’re suddenly going to build a two-hour 5 am workout into your schedule. Don’t sign up for a 5k that’s scheduled in three weeks. It’s important to be honest with yourself when you create a workout plan for yourself.
Chances are that it’s not realistic for you to exercise for two hours every day or be able to comfortably run more than three miles with just a few weeks of training under your belt. Being honest with yourself about the time and effort you’re willing to put into your workout plan will help your plan be more successful in the long run.
2. Switch It Up
No matter what your exercise goals are, try to switch up your workout plan on a regular basis. If you normally go for a run, try signing up for an exercise class instead. Instead of jogging for forty-five minutes of cardio on the treadmill in the morning, try forty-five minutes of interval training that includes weights as well as cardio.
Mixing up your workout plan rather than keeping it static prevents you from getting bored or burned out with your workout plan over time. Plus, a varied workout plan helps you engage your entire body in your workouts rather than just certain areas.
3. Have Fun
Blending your passions and genuine enjoyment with exercise is one of the best ways to create a workout plan that caters specifically to your unique self. If you love appreciating nature, why not try hiking in the mountains or around a local lake?
If you’re adventurous, try mountain-biking or another type of daredevil cardio. Even if you just like spending time with your friends, get a group of people together to take an exercise class or take on the treadmills at your gym together. A major component of creating a successful workout plan for yourself is ensuring that you build fun into it, too.
4. Build Into Your Schedule
It’s important to have your schedule by your side while you create your workout plan. If you don’t take your other daily responsibilities and obligations into account, you’ll end up coming up with an exercise plan that doesn’t realistically fit your schedule and you won’t stick to it.
Consider the free time that you do have and what you usually do with it. Try to avoid sacrificing family time or your precious hours of sleep to fit in a workout. Search for pockets of free time at least three to four days per week and fit a workout in there whenever you can. Scheduling your workout plan like any other event on your calendar encourages you to stick with your plan and makes it seem less like an afterthought and more like a non-negotiable responsibility.
5. Determine Your Goals
Do you want a six pack? Are you hoping to feel more natural energy and less stress and anxiety throughout the day? Do you want to lose weight? What is it exactly that you want to get out of your workout plan?
Determine a specific goal that you hope your workout plan will help you achieve. Whether it’s losing five pounds or just performing cardio consistently, having a specific goal will help you figure out how to structure your workout plan in terms of cardio, weight exercises, etc. A goal will also help you to stay motivated because you have something concrete that you want to achieve.
6. Include Cardio
Even if your goal is to get six-pack abs or perfectly toned legs, cardio is a vital part of any workout plan. Cardio is arguably the most important part of exercising. If you exclude cardio from your workout plans, you won’t be able to reap the physical or mental benefits that a great workout plan should bring.
You don’t have to run on a treadmill for an hour every morning to include cardio in your workout plan. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster and your blood pumping harder is an acceptable form of cardio.
7. Start Slow
The most important part of creating a workout plan is sticking to it. If you try to start out with super rigorous, long workouts, there’s a high chance that you won’t end up sticking with your plan.
Start slow instead. Consistency is more important than rigor. Just make sure that you exercise on a regular basis (at least three to four times per week) and add rigor and length as you get more comfortable with your routine.
Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to working out. Create a personalized workout plan for yourself to become your best self, both physically and mentally, as soon as possible.