How to make a workout plan you’ll actually stick to
You know you’re supposed to exercise regularly.
Every doctor and nutritionist tells you that you need to eat well and stay active if you want to be healthy.
Unfortunately, there are so many good excuses that you can use to talk yourself out of working out.
It’s too cold; it’s too warm, you haven’t had enough sleep, you’ve had a long day at work. The list goes on…
So how do you create a workout calendar that works for your body and your schedule? Is it possible to combine different workout types into a routine that you don’t dread every morning?
The answer is a resounding, “yes.” Today, we’re going to discuss how to make a workout plan that you can stick to. Plus, we’ve got some top tips for accessing extra workout motivation too!
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Start small
Often, the hardest part of creating a workout calendar is thinking about what you want to accomplish. Your goals are often the ultimate form of workout motivation, as they give you something to aim towards.
You might envision yourself with massive muscles or a slimmer waist – but don’t forget to match your big targets with little ones too.
Rather than trying to push yourself to lose several pounds straight away, focus initially on finding a workout routine that feels comfortable for you. Test out different types of workout and discover what works well for your body.
Once you know what kind of exercise you like, you can begin to build a routine that makes sense to you.
For instance, if you like exercising in a group, you can sign up for a dance class once a week on Fridays, and a jogging group on Wednesdays.
Step 2: Forget the all-or-nothing mindset
We often start our journeys into exercise with big dreams of what we want to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with this ambition, but you shouldn’t push yourself to be an “all or nothing” athlete.
Just because you don’t have the energy to complete your 5 miles run one week doesn’t mean you should give up on all the work you’ve done.
Give yourself some flexibility when you need it. We’re not saying that you should give yourself permission to cut your exercise routine in half whenever you’ve had a bad day.
However, if you finish work late and you only have 15 minutes in your schedule, that 15 minutes of exercise will do much more for you than nothing. You can always try to make up for the missed time later.
Give yourself a break and remember that your workout calendar won’t always go according to plan.
Step 3: Do something you like
We mentioned above that one of the best things you can do when you start working on your exercise motivation is look for a kind of exercise that you enjoy.
It’s much easier to push yourself to take your weekly Zumba class if you know that you leave the session smiling and laughing each week.
On the other hand, if you hate lifting weights at the gym, you’ll do everything you can to avoid it.
Start by looking at the types of exercises that are best suited to your goals. If you want to lose weight, it makes sense to invest in calorie and fat-burning routines, as well as workouts that improve your endurance.
Running is a good option, but you can also consider dancing, cycling, swimming, or anything else that gets your heart rate up.
Check out websites like Groupon or see what kind of classes are on in your local fitness clubs for insights into the kinds of things you can try.
You won’t have to worry as much about learning how to make a workout plan that works if you look forward to your routine every week.
Step 4: Don’t go it alone
Do you think it’s easier to run a marathon on your own, or to do it with a vast group of people cheering you on? When you’re tackling something tough, like a new workout routine, you don’t have to go it alone.
Think about joining a group instead.
If you know someone in your social circle that wants to get fit at the same time as you, ask them to sign up for a routine with you. You can experiment with types of workouts that are great for both of you.
When you’re holding yourself accountable to another person, it’s much easier to find the workout motivation you need to get up and go.
If you don’t have a close friend or loved one to work out with, join a group in your local community instead. There are plenty of cycling, running, and swimming teams out there that open their doors to everyone and anyone.
This is your chance to make new friends and feel more inspiration to exercise too. With a little luck, the pals you make at your exercise classes will call you up and push you to work out when you’re not feeling the drive.
Step 5: Give yourself new challenges
Sometimes, after you’ve learned how to make a workout plan that works, and you’ve got a schedule that seems to work for you, it can feel like things start to get a little monotonous.
You run the same paths every day or go through the same 30-minute exercise with different bodyweight exercises and strength routines.
Unfortunately, when exercise gets boring, it also becomes harder for you to stick to your targets. A good way to avoid a snooze fest is to challenge yourself. Compete against yourself to beat your best score.
If your routine is starting to feel a little too repetitive, look for simple changes you can make. For instance, maybe you can find somewhere new where you can jog for a change of scenery.
What if you did your next cycling trip over some hills to increase the intensity of your workouts?
Small changes stop your workout calendar from getting boring. They also keep you on your toes, so you continue to see the benefits of your exercise efforts.
Step 6: Constantly track your success
Finally, commit to watching yourself progress towards your goals. A lot of us lose our workout motivation because we feel as though we’re not making progress fast enough.
If you start your routine telling yourself that you’re going to lose five stone, for example, you’re probably not going to see any massive changes for a while.
If you can’t see your exercise’s outcomes easily straight away, invest in tools that will help you celebrate your little wins. Add a check to your calendar every time you successfully complete your routine to prove to yourself that you can stick to your promises.
Download an app on your phone that gives you points and trophies every time you hit a small milestone. When you do get closer to your goals, celebrate yourself! Treat yourself to a healthy snack or indulge with a relaxing night watching your favorite movie.
The more you reward yourself for accomplishing your fitness goals, the more likely you’ll be to stick to the plan.
Just make sure that your workout motivation rewards aren’t things like an extra cake or a day off at the gym, as this could negate the hard work you’ve been doing.
Find your exercise motivation
Figuring out how to make a workout plan that works for you isn’t as easy as it seems. There seems as though there are endless reasons to put your routines on hold, and not enough reasons to keep pushing yourself every day.
With the 6 steps above, we hope you can start making the most out of your workout calendar and achieving your fitness goals.
Remember, don’t be afraid to switch things up from time to time too. Just because the routine you create works for you now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with it in the future.
As your fitness level increases along with your endurance and stamina, you’ll discover that you’re capable of challenging yourself to more than you could have achieved before.
Don’t just rest on your laurels, keep pushing yourself towards success.