How to Choose a Workout Plan to Suit Your Lifestyle
Creating a personal fitness plan is beneficial for your health in many ways. Each individual has different abilities and needs, and developing an exercise plan that suits your lifestyle makes it easier to stay motivated and committed to your progress. Whether you want to increase muscle, lose weight or start exercising for your general health, the right exercise routine for you can help you reach your goals.
Focusing on your diet and nutrition can help you feel more energized and ready to take on the week and your workouts. The best part is you can find a workout and nutrition plan that works around your daily routine, so you don’t have to make drastic changes overnight. We’ll show you how to choose a workout program for your needs.
Start With Your Goals
The first step to starting any fitness program or lifestyle change is to consider your goals. For instance, are you aiming to improve your overall health? Training for a marathon? Working a sedentary job and want to increase your physical activity? Whatever it is, you’ll want to identify your motivation and create a list of clear goals to help you gauge your progress along the way.
Once you set your goals, you can create a realistic path to achieving them. This is crucial, as change doesn’t happen overnight. Setting unrealistic goals or expectations will only set you up for frustration. If your goals are too difficult to reach, you may even give up on your journey to improving your health.
If your current lifestyle is very sedentary, such as if you have a desk job, setting a goal to run 3 miles a day may be unreasonable. Instead, you might set a goal to go for a walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes three times per week.
Each week, tack on an additional 10 minutes to your walks and then work your way up into a run. You can always adjust as needed if you feel capable of doing more exercise, but it’s best to start with very small increments of activity if you’re not used to it.
However, perhaps you go to the gym fairly regularly or are used to running around doing errands or chasing your kids. In this case, you may be able to incorporate more intense workouts right away. Or, maybe your focus is more on nutrition than working out. By determining your fitness goals, you can create a plan that’s tailored to your specific needs. When you have clear goals to work toward, it also makes it easier to measure your progress.
For example, if your goal is to meet a certain step count throughout the day, tracking your steps with a fitness watch will allow you to see how far you’ve come. If your goal is to become more flexible, take pictures every week of your poses so you can see a visual difference in your progress.
Assess Your Fitness Level
Once you have your goals set, you’ll want to determine your baseline fitness abilities to ensure you can achieve your lifestyle goals. Though you likely have an idea of how fit you are or how much exercise you can accomplish each day, assessing your fitness level makes it easier to measure your progress.
Likewise, recording your current fitness level gives you a baseline of where you are versus where you want to be in a few months’ time. You can start by performing and recording the following:
- How steady you are when doing a single-leg squat
- Your pulse rate before and after walking for 20 minutes
- How long it takes you to walk a mile
- How many pushups you can do at one time
- How far you can reach forward while in a sitting position on the floor
- How long you can jog before reverting back to walking
- How many jumping jacks you can do in 30 seconds
This assessment will help show you where you’re starting from. Keep in mind that, depending on your fitness level and overall health, you may need to adjust the above assessments. For example, if you’ve just gotten the green light to exercise after surgery, don’t start by running a mile. If your goals are focused on gaining muscle or losing weight, you can also look at things like waist circumference and weight before getting started on your journey.
While keeping track of numbers like these is not necessary to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, looking back at photos can help you gauge your progress and see how your body composition has changed.
As soon as you begin a workout routine for your busy lifestyle, chart your progress, including how long you exercise for each day, so you can keep a written record of what you’ve accomplished. Be sure to reward yourself with something meaningful and enjoyable as you reach new milestones!
Determine How Much Time You Have
While creating your new fitness plan, you’ll need to figure out exactly when you’ll be exercising. The frequency and duration of your workouts are important to achieving your goals. Staying consistent can become a challenge if you don’t create designated days or times to exercise.
For instance, if you have an hour free every day, you might want to sign up for an exercise class three or four times a week. Perhaps your office building has a gym that you can use on your lunch break. Maybe you prefer to exercise as soon as you wake up or in the evening. Workouts for busy moms might include waking up 20 minutes earlier to squeeze in a brisk walk on the treadmill or a morning yoga session.
Whatever you prefer, be sure to write down when you have time available to exercise and stick to it. Creating a consistent schedule will help make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Eventually, you won’t think twice about pulling out your yoga mat or adding your gym clothes to your work bag. In addition to scheduling your workouts, be sure to mix up your physical activity to get a healthy combination of cardio, resistance training and flexibility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults require at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity. While that may seem like a lot, you can break it down to just 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.
Choose a Workout You Will Love
Regular activity in the long term can help you meet your fitness and health goals. No matter your motivation, it’s essential to pick a workout that you love and can continue doing. Here are several workout ideas to choose from that may fit into the routine you already have.
Take an Adventure Outside
Spending time outdoors has many benefits. From enjoying the fresh air to getting some vitamin D, you may notice an improvement in your energy, mood and overall health the more time you spend outside. The possibilities for working out outdoors are endless. You might have a local park where you can walk during your free time or go on a low-impact hike with your family.
If you’re someone who gets motivated to exercise with others around, try looking for local outdoor activity groups or classes. For example, you might find an outdoor yoga class by the beach or an adult sports group that meets up on the weekends. Whatever your preference, you can find something that meets your fitness level and capabilities.
Of course, it’s necessary to note that outdoor workouts depend on good weather and daylight. To mix up your exercise options, try setting up a least a few indoor exercises. This way, you won’t be hindered by a thunderstorm or an extremely hot summer day.
Get Moving at Home
If you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, exercising in public spaces can feel daunting. Going to a gym for the first time and not knowing how to work the machines can be intimidating, which may deter you from actually working out. This is why some people prefer exercising at home, and it also happens to be more convenient. While you can certainly invest in all types of equipment — such as a stationary bike, treadmill, dumbbells and jump-ropes — you can get in some rigorous physical activity without any equipment.
For example, simple exercises like jumping jacks, squats, lunges, situps and pushups are just some examples of what you can do in your own living room or garage. You might even try walking up and down the stairs in your home to get in some extra cardio. If you don’t have time to get out of the house or prefer to stay home, there are plenty of creative ways to get active. You can even go online and choose your workout from YouTube.
Stretch It Out
If you’re trying to choose a workout plan for a sedentary lifestyle, you might not feel inclined to start with high-impact workouts or intense cardio. If you want to change up your routine from staying still all day, try starting with improving your mobility! Yoga and pilates, or even daily stretching, are excellent ways to get your blood flowing and body moving without making a drastic change.
Like most workouts, you can do this at home or join a beginner-friendly yoga class that focuses on stretching and matches your needs. In addition to physical wellness, yoga can also promote mental health and deep relaxation. Another effective way to promote mobility is dancing, which is a physical activity you can also enjoy at home. Put on your favorite music and dance around while doing household chores, or join a dance class to meet others who are looking for a fun way to exercise.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the mountains, taking a hike or going for a climb can be a fun weekly workout. Climbing can help support your upper-body strength, balance and core. If your fitness level is not quite there yet, or if you don’t live near climbing terrain, you can visit a climbing gym.
While it might seem silly at first, climbing in an indoor gym is a great way to ease your way into adventurous physical activity. This type of exercise may not even feel like work! You’ll have fun learning to scale different walls with varying levels of complexity. Not to mention, indoor climbing gyms always offer safety equipment like harnesses, so they’re totally beginner friendly.
Lift Those Weights
Strength and resistance training can help you build muscle and prevent bone loss. Strength training is for more than just looking toned, though. It also gives you the functional capabilities to perform everyday activities, such as climbing stairs, running around with your kids, lifting groceries and even getting up from a chair.
The thought of lifting weights can be intimidating for people who are new to exercising. Rest assured, it’s more important that you maintain correct body form than to use heavy weights. Starting out with 2- or 5-pound dumbbells, for example, is perfectly fine.
Focus on slow, smooth and controlled movements when isolating your muscle groups. Once these exercises feel too easy, you can gradually increase weight. Be sure to give your muscles time to recover, as rest is just as essential as exercise.
If you enjoy a more high-tempo workout, high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a fantastic way to get in a workout with minimal time. This type of workout usually focuses on intense cardio for 10-30 seconds with a short recovery between exercises to get your heart rate up quickly.
Here’s an easy template: Choose four or five exercises to make up your circuit. Do the first exercise for 30 seconds, then take a 30-second break before moving on to the next exercise in the circuit. After you complete the circuit, take a minute-long break. You can repeat the circuit as many times as you like, but many HIIT workouts only last between 10 and 20 minutes.
Crossfit is another option that might sound exciting. Crossfit is a combination of many different exercises and activities that you can do at a local studio.
The Importance of Proper Nutrition in Conjunction With Your Workout Plan
It’s true that nutrition plays a critical role in overall health and fitness. If you’re looking to see results, it can be discouraging if your diet is holding you back.
Research shows that nutrition supports muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and can help produce better fitness results than focusing on physical activity alone. Nutrients like high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals and fats make up a balanced diet.
However, it’s not always realistic to fit cooking or meal-prepping into your busy schedule. That’s why you’ll want to find healthy, convenient options that don’t take a lot of your time and allow you to reach your goals while feeling full and energized.
If your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, there’s no reason your meals have to be unappetizing and flavorless. Salata Salad Kitchen offers convenient, healthy food ordering for people looking to incorporate fresh ingredients into their diet without sacrificing taste and quality. Ordering your food on our website or app makes it easy to get in a nonrestrictive, healthy meal — however you choose to define it.
Live How You Want With Convenient and Custom Foods From Salata Salad Kitchen
As a busy mom or working individual, it can certainly be a challenge to squeeze in time for exercising and making healthy foods. Constant grocery shopping and meal preparation can be expensive and time-consuming. At Salata, we make it easy to get healthy, fresh foods while on the go. Our salads and wraps are completely customizable, so you can create a meal that fits your dietary needs and preferences.
With over 50 fresh toppings, 11 housemade, gluten-free dressings and five salad bases, you can mix and match to create your perfect flavor profile. You can also order from our online menu of signature recipes if you’re feeling uninspired. Whether you’re on your lunch break or want to make a quick stop for dinner, we’re here to help you achieve your lifestyle goals. Find a Salata location near you today, or start your order online.