How To Create A Workout Plan You'll Actually Stick To

Posted by Gavin Tan on

By this time of year, you will realise that most of your well-intended new year’s resolutions to stay fit and healthy might be hitting some roadblocks. Don’t worry, it’s normal for your motivation to exercise to drop over time.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your goal! The key to being able to exercise consistently is creating a workout plan that you can easily follow. This means setting realistic goals, choosing activities you enjoy, mixing them up, and more.

So, if you’re currently binge-eating on chips while feeling guilty for not being able to stick to your workout routine, get up and brush off those crumbs; we’ve got you covered!

Read on to learn how to create a sustainable exercise routine tailored to your body and fitness goals.

Set realistic goals

As mentioned above, one of the most important things you can do when creating an exercise routine is to set realistic goals. Don't aim to run a marathon in a month if you've never even run before. Even Usain Bolt started walking before sprinting!

Instead, start with smaller, more achievable goals such as walking for 30 minutes daily or doing 10 minutes of yoga each morning. Once you've achieved these smaller goals, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This also gives you a sense of achievement and motivation as the small “victories” will give the impression that you’re on the right track.

Track your progress

The best way to take note of your progress is when you can visually see it. More than the number on the scale or your reflection in the mirror, jotting down your daily target achievements in a fitness journal will show you how far you’ve come.

This is because initial physical changes may take time to show, and sometimes this might deter your progress as you may feel that there are no changes. Keeping a log of your workouts, noting the date, activity, duration, and intensity in a fitness diary will help you “see” the changes. For example, you may notice you can do 20 more push-ups than two days ago. That’s significant progress, especially if you’re starting from scratch!

Choose activities you enjoy

One of the main reasons people fall out of their workout resolutions is due to being bored with a fixed routine. The key to avoiding this is to incorporate activities that you enjoy into your exercise plan so that you will be excited to work out.

This means you shouldn’t force yourself to run daily if you hate running. Instead, try different activities such as cycling, swimming, or dancing until you find something you enjoy. When you enjoy the activity, you're more likely to stick with it.

Mix it up

While you’re incorporating your favourite workouts into your exercise routine, keep in mind that doing something you initially enjoyed for long periods can also bore you out. Imagine only cycling around your neighbourhood daily – it will turn into a chore.

Hence, you should mix up your routine occasionally by trying different activities or exercises. For example, you could alternate between running and cycling or try a new strength training routine each week. Mixing up your workouts keeps things interesting and challenges your body in new ways.

Schedule your workouts

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the trial-and-error phase, take it a step further by scheduling your workouts in your daily fitness journal. This teaches your mind that your workouts are now a priority and not an option.

Choose a time of day when you have the most energy and make it a habit to exercise during that period. If you have a busy schedule, try breaking up your workouts into smaller sessions throughout the day – you could do a 10-minute yoga routine in the morning, take a brisk walk during your lunch break, and do some strength training in the evening.

Start slow and progress gradually

Contrary to popular belief, it’s important to start slow and progress gradually when you wish to create a workout routine you’ll stick to. The saying “you haven’t worked out if you aren’t sore” is not necessarily true for everyone. If you push yourself too hard too quickly, you may become discouraged or even injure yourself.

Start with low-intensity activities such as walking or gentle stretching, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Note your routine and activities down in your fitness diary and increase or switch them according to your progress.

Rest and recover

Most importantly, rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to creating a sustainable exercise routine. Your body needs time to rest and recover after workouts, so make sure to include rest days in your schedule.

Resting also ensures that you don’t feel as if you’re forced to do these activities. Remember, even your day job has off days! On rest days, focus on activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as meditation, yoga, or a massage.

Get fit and healthy with MiGOALS

Ultimately, it’s important to be flexible when creating a sustainable exercise routine. Life can be unpredictable, and there may be days when you can't stick to your usual routine. So, don't be too hard on yourself; if you continue doing it the next available day, you will be back on track!

At MiGOALS, we support living a healthy lifestyle. That is why we produce motivating and empowering fitness journals, goal planners, and more that are tastefully designed to help you set goals (and achieve them!). View our amazing organisational tools that have helped many people upgrade their lives!

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