Getting into your best physical shape is easy when you are young, but it becomes increasingly harder with age. This is due to hormonal changes, work and family obligations, overloaded schedules, poor diets and a general lack of physical activity. If you have decided that you need to make exercise a part of your life so that you can stay fit, follow the simple steps below to create a workable plan that fits in with your tastes and lifestyle.
1. Start by getting some clarity on your exercise goals. While most people choose weight loss as their first goal, you might want to firm up flabby arms or get your legs in better shape for the upcoming ski season. If you choose a goal with a set end date, this makes an exercise program much easier for you to stick to. Over time, you will keep finding new challenges to prepare for, and someday you might find yourself training for goals such as completing your first marathon!
2. Think about the types of exercise you are willing to do. One of the keys to staying motivated is mixing up your routine, so include as many different types of exercise as you can. Go with things you like, and start experimenting with different exercises or activities that you have never tried before.
3. Build up an exercise routine that is based upon a group of exercises that you really enjoy. Choose activities that you would do anyway, even if they were not part of a “workout.” Some people find running to be meditative, while others enjoying bicycling at the beach so that they can people-watch. Some even do laps around the inside of a mall! Whatever gets you engaged in physical activity works.
4. Part of your exercise plan includes healthy eating. There are many online calculators that can help you add up the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight, or lose weight, if that is your goal. Increase the calories according to the intensity level of your exercise. This should be done automatically for you with a good calorie calculator. Take this information, and build a healthy diet based on getting enough of the right types of food to support your exercise program. You can find free online sites that have meal planners and nutritional data to help you.
5. Share your exercise goals and plans with friends and family. Be selective about who you share with, though. Negative or critical attitudes are a motivation killer, so surround yourself with people that are positive and supportive regarding your exercise efforts.
6. Track your exercise progress, so that you can use the information to see how you are doing, and chart new goals. This includes your weight, body measurements, types and amount of exercise completed, or any other measurement metric that is meaningful and helpful to you.
Planning an effective exercise program is detailed, but it is not difficult. You get out of it what you put into it, so use the tips above to plan your own custom workout program, and before you know it, you will be well on your way to having your best body ever.