Deciding on the Right Fitness Programme for Yourself

Choosing the right fitness program is not always a simple and easy task. The current fitness landscape offers almost every imaginable concept so whatever idea you might have, the chances are you’ll find the exact workout space or gym right in your neighbourhood.

While having a wide choice is undoubtedly a good thing, it can also be quite confusing and overwhelming. Most people make their choice based on a means-to-an-end strategy aiming at their final goal. There’s nothing wrong with that but a better way would be to also consider your own preferences and capabilities, develop a balanced fitness plan and pick a programme that will serve you well in the long run. 

Determine your goals

Different goals demand different types of exercise, so ask yourself what outcomes you want to see. Whether it’s general fitness, weight loss, toning, or preparation for a sporting competition, your plan will depend on your final goals. Also, consider your own body’s health and limitations. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be realistic about the timeframe of your achievements.

Develop a balanced fitness plan

According to health research, a typical weekly fitness routine should incorporate 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. If this tempo seems daunting, begin slowly and increase gradually. For instance, start with one 10-minute walk five times a week, then increase to two and then three sessions. This would eventually add up to 150 minutes of walking each week in manageable chunks.

You should also include strength-training sessions in your routine at least twice a week. Building muscle will burn calories while you train, and it will continue to do so even while you rest. Once you start strength training, allow a minimum of 48 hours of rest between sessions so your muscles can recover.

Choose exercise that you enjoy

The most common reason why people give up their exercise routine is boredom. The key is doing something you honestly enjoy. If going walking gives you pleasure, make it a daily health and fitness habit. It may be even more enjoyable if you do it with a friend as you make the committing together, you’re more likely to stick to it.

The same thing goes for exercising at thy gym where going with a friend can also help you keep your routine. However, if you prefer to work out alone or your work/home schedule won’t allow you to leave your home often, working out at home is also a great opportunity. You can do things at your own pace and in your time. You just need to make a schedule and get your equipment which can include a mat, resistance bands, various dumbbells, and bumper weight plates for more intense strength training.

Add variety to your workout

Whether you train at the gym or your home, variety is what will keep you interested and motivated. Aerobic activities commonly make up a large part of a workout, but make sure to include muscle-strengthening with weights or resistance bands.When planning your fitness program, alternate activities so that you can shift the focus to different parts of your body — walking, swimming, cycling, running and strength training. Also, flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga are excellent as your post-workout cool-down.

Choose exercises that fit your lifestyle

Finally, it’s important you choose a fitness routine that fits your lifestyle as this will increase your chances of keeping up with your programme. Whether it’s going to a local gym or swimming pool that you could do before work, during the day or after work – plan it accordingly. The same goes for attending organised classes where you go with a friend, or by yourself, as well as for your home workout routine. The key is to stay motivated enough to find a time slot in your schedule and prioritise exercise at that time.

The bottom line with exercise is that it should become your life partner, a complementary relationship and not an adversarial one. Assess yourself and pick exercises that aren’t just a means to an end, but rather a part of who you are. 

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