Have you repeatedly tried to start a fitness plan and lost steam every time? Maybe your routine didn’t fit your lifestyle.
Total fitness comprises three components: strength, cardiovascular training and flexibility. However, the possibilities for creating a personalized program are nearly endless. Here is a seven-step path designed to teach you how to make a fitness plan you’ll stick to for life.
1. Step One: Evaluate
This stage may seem simple, but it might be the most vital to your program’s success. Before beginning any fitness regimen, you should ask yourself health-related questions and talk to your physician about modifications for your conditions.
Once you understand your limitations, you need to ask yourself about other factors that hindered your past progress. Consider the following:
- What caused me to quit my last program? Was it too strenuous because you bit off too much, too soon? Did you find it hopelessly boring to log miles on a treadmill, TV or no TV?
- How much time can I realistically devote? Everyone can make time for fitness — you can even sneak in moves on your work breaks. However, you might not want to start marathon training if you work from home, homeschool your children and take part-time graduate classes to boot.
- What do I love? As the cliché goes, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. You can say the same for your workouts.
2. Step Two: Pick a Cardio
Once you evaluate your health and lifestyle, it’s time to select activities for each of the three main fitness components and get started. You need cardiovascular training to work your heart and lungs and improve your endurance.
Walking or running both qualify as ideal activities because they require minimal financial commitment. All you need is a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes for each. If you struggle to squeeze in fitness, can you walk to work or park further away?
Along those lines, you could also ride a bike to work. You can find electric models that boost your pedal power if you worry about showing up to your job all sweaty.
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3. Step Three: Get Your Strength On
The second component of total fitness is strength or resistance training. Fortunately, you don’t need to join a gym, but please don’t fear the dumbbells if you’re female. Women typically lack the testosterone levels necessary for bulging biceps, but you will look sleek and toned.
Should you use machines or free weights? Both have substantial benefits. Free weights give you a wider range of motion, but calibrated devices help keep you in perfect alignment.
If you don’t like dumbbells, why not invest in inexpensive resistance bands? They come with the added perk of slipping into your suitcase without adding weight — there’s no need to skip a workout due to travel.
4. Step Four: Stretch It, Baby
Many folks overlook the flexibility component of total fitness, but doing so could lead to injury. All you need is five to 10 minutes after each workout, and maybe a few when you first awaken to get your blood flowing.
If you enjoy being flexible, why not give yoga a go? You can find a style to fit your ability level, from gentle yin to athletic ashtanga.
5. Step Five: Variety Is the Spice of Life
Even if you love your workout plan, you’ll get bored if your life consists of, “If it’s Tuesday, it must be bike-ride day.” Choose at least one day a week to try an activity outside of the norm. Spice up your treadmill workout with a Zumba class or meet a friend for racquetball.
6. Step Six: Increase Daily Activity Painlessly
When it comes to making a fitness plan, don’t stop by penciling gym visits into your planner. Once you make it a part of your lifestyle, you’ll find yourself shedding unwanted pounds without dieting.
Start by making substitutions, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Expand on this idea as you get fitter. Can you walk to pick up your child from school instead of idling in the parent pickup line? Instead of collapsing in front of Netflix again, can you challenge your partner to a game of Twister?
7. Step Seven: Embrace Active Rest
Many experts recommend taking time off every three to five days if you do moderate to vigorous workouts. Consider these downtimes when you make your fitness plan.
You don’t have to lie in bed. Maybe your scheduled gym break is ideal for strolling museum grounds with your kids and identifying various trees and flowers. Perhaps you take the family bowling on Saturday when they offer unlimited games for one low fee.
How to Make a Fitness Plan — Follow This 7-Step Program That Fits Your Lifestyle
Now that you know how to make a fitness plan, you have the tools you need to get in the best shape of your life. Get out there and work that glorious body!