With summer just around the corner, it’s time to come out of workout hibernation and get back in to gear. Many people fall into exercise slumps during the cold months when it’s hard to stay motivated to work up a sweat. But with the warm weather quickly approaching, it can be easy to put a spring back in your step and get your fitness plan back into shape.
However, even the most dedicated athletes struggle at times to find the time and motivation to dedicate enough time to exercising during the week. Life gets in the way many times, and it’s easy to push your workouts to the side.
So how do you plan a workout schedule that you can stick to? The Y put together some tips and advice that we know can help everyone plan out and commit to an exercise program that is right for them.
Get Ready, Get Set…
- Set a goal that is reasonable for your lifestyle. Before planning your workout week, make sure you assess where you currently stand with your activity level. Have you ever had a regular fitness plan? Any physical limitations? How many hours a week do you really have to dedicate to the gym? Answering these questions first will help give you a foundation to build your workout schedule based on realistic expectations. The worst thing you can do is set a schedule that is unachievable and let yourself down. So ask yourself these questions to help build a plan that pushes you a bit but is still within reach.
- Schedule your workout like they are appointments with your boss. You would never cancel a meeting with your boss. You should feel the same way about your fitness plan. Once you have a goal in mind, write down your workout times on your calendar as if they are appointments. Then force yourself to never cancel them. Blocking out time during the day to work out as if it were something as important as your career will hold you accountable for sticking to your plan.
- Decide where you are going to work out. Will you be at the gym? At home? Running outside, or a class with a friend? Having these details narrowed down will help you build a more consistent routine. Try your best to shake up your workout locations and try new ideas. Adding a little variety will keep exercising fun and interesting for you.
- Decide how you are going to work out. Once all the above details are nailed down, then you can begin the fun part and start making decisions on what your workout activities should be. There are countless options and it’s important to pick activities that are best for your body. However there are some basic guidelines that most people can follow. Physicians recommend 180 minutes per week of aerobic activity and 2-3 days of strength training for most adults. It’s also important to schedule rest days or days that require lower fitness intensities. If you have questions about how much and how you should be exercising, talk to a Y employee to assist you with these decisions.
Once you have the planning complete, it’s time to start the doing! Use the below tips to keep yourself accountable for the fitness plan you built.
- Hold yourself accountable with a workout buddy. If you struggle staying motivated on your own, find a workout buddy that you can attend the gym with. You’ll find it much more difficult to cancel plans when you already made a commitment to another person to meet up with them for a workout.
- Try something new each week. Whether it’s a new class you’re taking or a different lifting technique, it’s important to add variety into your workout plan. This way you can help build endurance and enjoy the diversity of your workout.
- Reward yourself for meeting goals. When you meet your workout goal for the week, don’t be afraid to celebrate! What you did was great, and rewarding yourself will give you more motivation to keep planning workout routines.
Do you have your own tips for planning a workout week, or have personal questions about what fitness plan you should explore; our Y employees are always here to help. Feel free to reach out to them with any questions.