Do you start exercise plans with the best intentions of getting in shape, but then have trouble staying with any regimen long enough to see the benefits?
Developing a personal exercise plan that you can stick to will help you to lead a longer and healthier life. These are some principles and techniques to help you understand the basics and keep you fit for life.
Guiding Principles for a Personal Exercise Plan
1. Get motivated. It's easier to make the effort to work out when you believe in the important benefits that it produces. An active lifestyle will help you lose weight, prevent many diseases and give you more energy to pursue your favorite activities.
2. Take a balanced approach. A comprehensive work out includes three key components. Train for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. If you're looking for ways to save time, there are many ways to combine your training. Activities like swimming will strengthen both your heart and muscles.
3. Eat right. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Nutrient dense foods will give you the energy you need to train. Limiting your calories will help you maintain your ideal weight.
4. Be patient. It takes time to see the results from healthy eating and exercise. Remember that safe and gradual weight loss will be more sustainable than crash diets. Depending on your weight and other factors, walking for just a half hour at least 5 days a week will burn up 700 calories or more.
5. See your doctor if necessary. If you're over 35 and you've been inactive for a while, you may want to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can also help you plan a program that's safe for various conditions like heart disease or arthritis.
Practical Techniques for Sticking to a Personal Exercise Plan
1. Clarify your goals. Moderate exercise may be all you need if you just want to improve your overall health and feel more energetic. If you have your heart set on running a marathon, you'll need more targeted preparations.
2. Set up a regular schedule. Aim for consistency. You may find it refreshing to visit your health club after work or you may prefer an invigorating morning run. In any case, create a routine that coordinates with the other demands on your time.
3. Vary your workouts. Guard against boredom by mixing up your activities. Visit a new yoga studio or do your tai chi outdoors when the weather is pleasant.
4. Anticipate obstacles. Identify potential interruptions and make contingency plans. You could keep a treadmill on hand for those days when bad weather traps you indoors or take a jump rope with you when you travel.
5. Create challenges. Your body adapts to familiar movements. Increase the number of repetitions or use an exercise ball to make leg lifts more intense.
6. Avoid injuries. Most injuries can be prevented. Allow adequate time for rest and recovery. Use the proper gear like sturdy running shoes or sport-specific safety wear. Work with a trainer first to master good form before doing yoga or free weights on your own.
7. Enlist support. Getting fit can be fun if you add in a social component. Find an exercise buddy so you'll feel more accountable about showing up at the gym. Help your kids get a healthy start by playing volleyball together in the evening instead of watching TV.
8. Reward yourself. Celebrate your progress with fat free rewards. Sample exotic fruits or treat yourself with a new set of dumbbells.
Putting careful thought into a personal exercise plan will pay off in superior results. You'll look and feel your best at every stage in life by keeping physically fit.