Maybe you have tried following a workout plan before but lost your fitness motivation shortly after starting. How can you stick to your fitness routine this time? What are your goals for working out?
These are important questions to keep in mind for making a successful workout plan. Staying inspired to workout is key for long term success along with having a plan in place.
Find out not only how to make a workout plan, but how to stick to the routine!
How to Make a Workout Plan
If you have specific training goals or want individual guidance for exercise goals, consider consulting a healthcare or exercise professional for guidance. There are also many workout guides available online.
However, make a workout plan on your own with some simple principles.
Know What & How Much Exercise Is Recommended
How much exercise should you plan during the week? It is important to be realistic and start slowly especially if not used to exercising regularly.
General exercise recommendations include:
- 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise OR 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week
- Moderate is any movement that keeps the heart rate elevated and a conversation can still be carried. Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, etc.
- Vigorous exercise keeps heart rate elevated higher and breathing becomes heavier. Carrying on a conversation is more difficult. Examples of vigorous exercise include: jogging, cycling with hills, playing basketball or tennis.
- Muscle-strengthening exercise for major muscle groups, including the lower and upper body, 2 times per week. Examples of strength training exercises include lifting weights or bodyweight exercises, which tend to be for sets and reps.
The good news is you do not need to go to a gym for sticking to a workout routine. In fact, get a full-body workout in your own home with bodyweight, heavy weights, and other gym essentials.
How does one achieve getting 150 minutes (or more) of exercise per week? It is common to break this amount up into exercising for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Keep in mind if 30 minutes is not doable or realistic, this can be broken up into 10-minute increments at a time.
Know Your Goal & Write It Down
What is the goal for your working out? Do you want weight loss? Train for a race? Gain strength or build muscle? Or perhaps you just want to feel good!
Depending on a specific goal will help guide you for a particular workout plan. Whatever it is, following the general exercise guidelines is a good place to start. However, workout volume and type of exercise may change depending on what the goal is.
It is important to write down specific fitness goals and keep them somewhere to see. This will help motivate you to keep with your program and remind you why you are doing this.
Recognize Success Is More than Exercise
Making a workout plan and knowing what exercises to incorporate are key for building fitness. However, it’s important to remember other key aspects of health and fitness that make your workout plan a success including:
- Staying hydrated
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep
Don’t neglect these other aspects of self-care. They are just as important for overall health and helping you reach fitness goals.
How to Schedule Your Workout
Scheduling workouts is an important key for sticking to a routine, whether it be a part of daily routine or three times a week. You may not always feel like working out, but having it on the schedule and making it a priority helps get movement in.
Remember, the hardest part is often starting; you will not regret exercise afterward!
Consistency is key for maintaining a workout program. What time of day is best and what days of the week are best to get those workouts in? Schedule workouts in a day planner, calendar on the phone, or however you schedule your time.
Make workouts a priority like other meetings, family duties, or work functions. Some weeks and days will be easier than others and that’s normal. There is no ideal time of day to exercise; whatever time works for you is best whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Get Back On Track & Listen to Your Body
If you do get off track with workouts, do not beat yourself up. Just get back on track and pick up where you left off. If feeling fatigued or tired, listen to your body and allow for rest days.
Also if something is hurting, make sure to get checked out instead of pushing through consistent pain.
How to Build Fitness Motivation
No matter the fitness level, use these tips to build and enhance fitness motivation in all seasons of life:
- Writing down and seeing workout/fitness goals is key for keeping fitness motivation.
- Track workouts to keep motivated, seeing personal progress and how far you have come. This can be done by tracking the amount of weight lifted, running new distances, or mastering a new yoga pose you could not do before. Many fitness apps or devices can help track your workouts and store these details.
- Tell close family/friends your goals for working out. They can help encourage you, and it may be helpful if they have similar goals. Encourage each other or even do some workouts together!
- Keep workouts FUN and do exercises that bring you joy. Working out should be enjoyable and seen as a stress reliever. Workout plans can fizzle out and fitness motivation can dry out if not enjoying the exercise. If feeling burnt out, try a new exercise!
- Even when you do not feel mentally like working out, still do it. You will not regret it. Each time you do this, you strengthen the ability and motivation to continue to do this in the future.
Overall, create a plan and aim to consistent with it. Think about your goals, as well as how you will and fun ways to reach them, and track progress. Recognize fitness and health are ongoing journeys and enjoy the process!