Most people think that incorporating a fitness routine into your life means joining a gym or buying fancy workout clothes. But it’s really just about making a conscious decision about your health, making a plan and sticking to it. Today, we’re taking you through some very basic steps to formulate your own fitness routine at home.
Assess your health and competencies. Some beginners think that starting with routines such as Crossfit or Insanity will get them to their goals faster. On the contrary, taking on either of these two might result in injury rather than the desired outcome; especially when your body is not conditioned properly for their strict and rigid routine. This is why it is very important to assess your physical prowess before selecting a routine or sport to take up. Here are some measurable elements to consider:
- How long it takes for you to run a mile
- Your pulse rate before and after running a mile
- Your Body Mass Index (Calculate yours here!)
- Your Waist Circumference
- Flexibility (How far you can reach forward while seated with your legs stretched out)
- Any underlying diseases that might affect your routine (for example any existing Cardiovascular, Muscle, Joint, Bone or Blood diseases)
Consider these as your Baseline Data from which you will base the kind, level of difficulty and frequency of your workout.
Set simple, realistic goals. Reach for a pen and pad and write down your short term and long term fitness goals. Here are some examples:
Short Term Goal: I will work out 3 times a week for 20 minutes.
Long Term Goal: I will lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks.
Short Term Goal: I will alternate running and walking for 1 kilometer 2 times a week.
Long Term Goal: I will run 3 kilometers non-stop in 6 weeks.
Create your routine. Cross training is a great way to start an exercise routine. This strategy will not only save you from boredom, it will also ensure that your entire body is getting a workout. When I was still starting my own routine, I alternated between running and yoga. The yoga was great for strength and flexibility training and the running took care of my cardio needs. Remember to schedule rest days in between your workouts to allow your body to recuperate.
Monitor your progress. You can use a Fitness App such as Runkeeper or go old school with a fitness diary:
Plotting your schedule and progress is a great way to motivate yourself. Who knows? You may surprise yourself with the fitness goals you have been achieving!
The hardest part of any exercise routine is finding the will to begin. The second hardest part is finding the will to keep doing it. Don’t stress yourself out too much if you aren’t able to meet your goals on your first few tries– the important thing is that you are sticking to your routine. Going slowly but surely does the trick!
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