If you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on a personal trainer or a gym membership, here’s some good news: you don’t have to!
It’s easy to create your workout routine, and the benefit is that you can design it to suit your tastes and fitness level. Win!
Tip #1: Decide on a fitness goal
It’s essential to be very clear about why you are working out. Do you want to lose weight? Get trim? Build strength? Prepare for a marathon or 5k run?
Your goal will not only determine what kinds of routines are best for you, but a goal keeps you motivated and focused.
Tip #2: Decide what types of activity you like
What do you most enjoy? Yoga? Running? Calisthenics? Pilates?
Pick your favorite and build your workout around that.
Just make sure you are including training that builds these key elements:
For example, you could accomplish this with a mixture of:
- Running (for endurance)
- Calisthenics with resistance bands (for strength, flexibility, and balance)
- Pilates (flexibility)
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Tip #3: Decide on your schedule
How will you mix and match your exercises? Work out a schedule that is doable for you.
Consistency is key! There’s no point in designing the perfect workout and then not taking the time to do it. So be realistic: better to start modest and work your way up slowly.
It can usually take between 4 to 6 weeks of exercising regularly before thinking about adding extra difficulty.
You could create a program that stretches over a 3-month period, with routines becoming more challenging after the first half.
Here’s an example, using the above combination mentioned earlier:
- 2-3 days a week: A run or slow jog
- The other 2-3 days a week: A pilates session
- 5 days a week: A calisthenics session with resistance bands
- 4th and 7th day: Rest days!
It’s essential to allow your muscles to have time to rest.
If you are not accustomed to exercising regularly, be sure you rest every 3 days.
Tip #4: Choose your exercises
In the above example, this applies to things like pilates, yoga, or calisthenics, where there are lots of possibilities.
Make sure you are working out all of the areas of your body.
Some people prefer to do full-body workouts each time, and others prefer to focus on upper body exercises one day, and lower body exercises the next.
Tip #5: Make a record of it and get started
Choose a method for recording your routine so that you know what you’re doing each day. Whether it’s a vision board, an app on your phone, or a handwritten list taped to your door, you don’t want to be hunting around for what to do when it’s time to work out.
You’ll also want to record what you accomplish each time (as in the number of reps of exercises). If you keep track of what you’re doing, you can evaluate as you go to see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll know what’s too easy, what’s too hard, or what isn’t right for you for whatever reason: maybe you just don’t like it, and that’s OK. Find a substitute activity, and keep going!
Listen to your body. Getting fit isn’t about hurting yourself. It’s best to work gradually and consistently (yes we said that already, but it bears repeating!).
Keep it varied so that you don’t lose interest. It isn’t healthy for you to do the same thing every day anyway. Even if you’re choosing to do full-body workouts daily, make sure to switch the routines around.
Do what you can to make your workout fun! Put on your favorite music, buy yourself a workout outfit that makes you feel amazing, whatever it takes to enjoy what you’re doing. The more that you listen to yourself and to what you need, the more you’ll stay motivated.