How to Plan an Exercise Routine for Yourself

All exercises are not suitable for everyone and if we are to exercise regularly we need to find a fitness workout we enjoy doing. Another consideration is that people have different needs. Some are exercising to lose weight, others to be fit and build muscle, and some others are exercising to help them with a physical condition etc... There is also a question of temperament and personality. Not everybody likes a 4 mile solitary walk or a 2 mile run. In order to maintain an exercise program you have to have an inclination towards the type of exercise you are doing. This exercise routine has to fit in your schedule and life style. It is also important that it is not too hard or too easy. If you are new to exercise or haven't exercised for a while, you should start out slow and build up as your body gets acclimated to it.


This hub is a continuation of the other hub on exercise, "Fitness Workout for Everyone." I recommend you read it first before you read this one because it gives you the details of what an optimal workout looks like. It tells you what the various types of exercises do for your body and how to do them. It also gives you information on the length of time and frequency you should do each type of exercise and the precaution you should take and much more.The link is provided right below the zone diagram.


We learned from the other hub that an optimal fitness program should include the following;

  • aerobic exercise
  • strength training
  • core stability training
  • flexibility exercise
  • balance exercise

Keep these exercises in mind as you plan your own fitness program. As explained in that hub all these exercises can be easily incorporated into each other and is not as daunting as it looks.


Which Fitness Exercise Plan Fits You Best

To plan a Fitness workout program that is going to last, you need to begin by asking yourself these two questions. Which fitness workout matches my personality? How Will it fit in my life style?

Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada have been studying the correlation between personality traits and exercise.They have been able to recognize seven personality traits that can be used as a guideline to match people to an fitness workout routine. These personality traits are competitiveness, sociability, motivation, sense of adventure, spontaneity, aggressiveness and the ability to focus. So if you are a social person you may not enjoy a 4 mile run alone in the park. For you an aerobic dance class or walking with a companion might work better. While a shy person may not enjoy the aerobic dance class but may like that 4 mile solitary run. So you can use this guideline and experiment with various workouts and find out which workout fits your personality.


Besides personality trait there are other questions you should ask yourself in order to create the best fitness program for you. Here are some of them.

  • What workout program will benefit me the most?
  • What are my goals?
  • What kind of exercise program will fit in my schedule?
  • Would I need to invest in exercise equipments or join the gym?

    .


Steps You Take to Create Your workout Plan

  1. Determine your fitness level

(You will need a measuring tape, a watch, paper, and pencil

  • your pulse rate before and after a one mile run
  • how long it takes you to walk one mile
  • how many push ups you can do at time
  • how far can you reach seated on the floor with your feet in front of you.
  • measure around your west
  • calculate your body mass index (BMI). Go to Mayo Clinic BMI Calculator

Put this down on paper. You are going to monitor your progress by taking periodic measurements. You can print out the Mayo Clinic form here or you can make your own.The Mayo Clinic website has a wealth of other resources and information on fitness so check it out.

What is your goal? Is it to run a marathon?
What is your goal? Is it to run a marathon?


2. Plan the fitness exercise that fits your personality, life style, and goals

  • What is your goal? is it to lose weight, to build muscle strength, to be healthier ? etc... Your workout plan is going to depend on your goal. Make sure you have a clear goal. For instance if your goal is too lose weight, your loss weight plan will emphasize aerobic exercise that is low to moderate intensity and takes time. In losing weight duration is more important than intensity. Some examples of these are a brisk walk, swimming, and square dancing. To this you can add resistance training every other day. You can do some core strengthening exercises along with strength training. Flexibility is the 5 to 10 minute stretches that you do as a cool down from aerobics exercise. Balance is incorporated into one of these exercises. Balance exercise can also be done at any time. You can practice standing on one leg and then the other while talking on the phone, cooking,or washing dishes.


  • Plan to start slow and build up. Being too over zealous is one of the main reasons people quit exercising. Don't injure or over extend yourself by doing too much too soon. It will interrupt your workout routine and make it much harder to get back into the exercising mode. If you have a medical condition or if you are over age 40 for men and 50 for women consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


  • Choose exercises you have affinity for. All five types of exercises have a selection of very enjoyable exercises to choose from. Most people should find something they like to do from each type. If you are not sure whether you like an exercise or not, try it out first. There are DVD's, books, and even free classes offered that you can use to try out something not familiar to you.


  • How does it fit in your overall life style. Plan carefully so that exercising doesn't become a source of stress or something that will get in the way of your life style. Don't plan to join an aerobic dance class across town at 5:15 PM if you are getting off from work at 5. If you live close to a beach spending an hour swimming or playing with the waves is a good aerobic, resistance and balance workouts. You can do this as you spend a nice relaxing time with family or friends.


  • It is very helpful to have a structured exercise program. It shows commitment and ensures that it becomes part of your life. It also helps you track your progress. Plan when, where, how, what, and with who. Write down a schedule and place it where you can see it. You can make your own form or check out the form from this website and if you like theirs print it out. The American College of Sports Medicine. This website also has a lot of great information on fitness.


  • Do you have the exercise equipment necessary for the type of exercises you have chosen to do? At the very least you are going to need a good walking shoes. If you want to do resistance training using free weights, buying dumb bells might be a good investment. if not resistance bands will do as well and they are a lot cheaper. You may also opt out for joining the gym where you can find all kinds of weight lifting equipments.


It is Time to Get Started

Now that you have documented your fitness level, planned out the specifics of your exercise routine and have written down a daily schedule, and have assembled all the exercise equipment you need, there is nothing left to do but get started right away.

Monitor your progress. Take your fitness measurements again two months after you start, and then 4 to 6 months after that.

Keep yourself motivated. If you get bored with your workout routine change it around. There are so many fun activities there is no need to stay with the same exercise that you are bored with. You can mix it up such as doing jogging and walking at intervals. Be creative. If you just don't feel like going to your health club for a workout then exercise at home. You can simply put the music on and do your aerobic dance, do yoga, or strength training using your body even if you don't have any exercise equipment. You can also ask family and friends to support you during times when you feel like giving up. 


Researching and writing this hub has really motivated me to start my own fitness exercise program. I hope it will motivate the reader.


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