Create Your Own Exercise Plan: Find a Regimen that Works for You
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to diet and exercise. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Before a person begins an exercise plan, he must check with a doctor to see if he’s fit enough to do vigorous exercise. Some things like age and medical conditions must be considered before being given a clean bill of health – or restrictions.
That being said it’s important to remember that exercising to lose weight does not mean working out to the point of exhaustion or pain. What’s important is making changes that you can commit to and stick to for the rest of your life. It can be as simple as walking up and down a flight of stairs instead of always taking the elevator, parking far from your building’s entrance so you’re forced to walk, or biking with your kids every weekend.
Do Something You Enjoy
A lot of people think that an exercise plan always means hitting the gym, pumping iron, and running on the treadmill for hours. That is not true. While it may work for some, there are individuals who simply do not enjoy this kind of physical exertion. If you’re one of these people, here’s one solid tip to get yourself moving and exercising: do an activity you truly love.
- Dancing is a great way to burn calories, melt away fat and exercise all of your major muscle groups. It’s a fun way to stay active, socialize, and entertain yourself all at the same time. You can go out dancing with your hubby, friends, or with a group of people who share the same interest as you. Just make sure that you are doing this activity regularly and for an extended period of time for you to reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. You can sign up for dance class three to four times a week, or go ballroom dancing every couple of nights.
- Ride your bike. Cycling is a very good form of exercise and is also an efficient means of transportation. Employees young and old are taking up cycling for the physical activity and the added benefit of being kind to the environment. Instead of driving in cars which consume energy and leave a large carbon footprint, cycling to and from work gets your heart rate up and lowers your fuel expenses at the same time. Biking is considered as a social activity too, there are bike groups who organize activities and tours during weekends. If you’re new to biking, you can start slow and just stick to riding your bike around a fixed route. Once you become more comfortable, you can increase the number of minutes you ride your bike and take on more challenging routes to make the workout more intense.
- Indoor Wall Climbing. Scaling heights is a big challenge and a fun activity for a lot of people. Indoor wall climbing is a good way to relieve stress at the end of the day. This exciting activity involves a rush of adrenaline and endorphins. But more importantly, it works out all the major muscle groups. Climbing requires upper body strength, strong leg muscles, and a solid core.
- Trampoline. Trampoline parks may be popular with kids, but adults can also benefit from the activity. Jumping and kicking expends a lot of energy and also burns calories. When done regularly and properly, trampoline workouts can help shape and tone the body and give you a good cardio workout. The good thing about jumping and running on a trampoline is that it cushions the impact of the activity on your joints. Other physical activities like running, power walking, or aerobic classes are considered high impact activities which could eventually lead to injury and muscle damage.
- Cross Fit. CrossFit is a new and hip way to work out. It combines different forms of exercise and includes unconventional methods such as pushing and pulling huge tires, pulling ropes, doing burpees, push-ups, using kettlebells and more. To say that the workouts are intense would be an understatement. This kind of exercise plan is for people who believe in the “no pain no gain” adage. The advantage of CrossFit is that you’ll always have someone spot over you and monitor your progress. The routines are also changed periodically so the muscles are constantly challenged and you get a satisfying workout every time.
When creating your own exercise plan, it’s important to vary the activities involved. If your plan includes walking or running a certain number of steps or kilometers per day, make sure you take a different route or visit different places from time to time. You can also add alternative activities like doing yoga, swimming, or trying a new spinning class at the gym. The important thing is to keep moving and to move more than you usually do.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of cardiovascular activity, remember that muscle toning is also important in your exercise plan. If you don’t go to a gym, you can design your own program using home exercise equipment. Resistance training can be done effectively even if you’re only using your own body weight. You can do lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups. Start with several repetitions at a time and increase the number as you go along.
Stick to a Plan and See It Through
You don’t need to hire expensive personal trainers or sign up for a gym membership to create your own exercise plan. Just remember to keep yourself active and to be more conscious of how much physical activity you are doing every day.
Don’t be afraid to take baby steps and enjoy being active. Spend time with friends or family instead of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix for the whole weekend. Pack a picnic, play frisbee, enjoy a quick trip to the beach or enjoy hot yoga. If you’re feeling lazy, walk around the mall for hours and just window shop. What matters is that you’re up on your feet and you are consciously moving. Remember: slow and steady wins the race.