How to Create a Fitness Plan You Actually Enjoy
Choosing to get in shape can be as much about smashing fitness goals as it is about maintaining a healthy diet and changing your lifestyle habits. Whatever your reasoning, building a workout routine is a great idea for getting in shape.
When creating an exercise plan though, you may find yourself wondering how you're going to stick to it. Exercise isn't everyone's cup of tea and so doing the same workout every week may become tedious and leave you feeling less than enthused to get up and work out every day.
In this article, we're going to explore how you can build a fitness routine you actually enjoy and that you will actually stick to. We'll look at the process of building the routine, how you can stay motivated, and how you can fit your routine into your lifestyle to make it accessible and easy to commit to.
Let's get started!
Why build a fitness routine?
To begin with, let's have a look at why it's a good idea to build a fitness routine.
Fitness is usually associated with exercise but can also include the diet you follow, the amount of sleep you get, and your mental health too. When we discuss a fitness routine here though, we're referring to your exercise routine.
Building a workout routine is a really easy way to get more exercise into your life. Exercise is a pillar of a healthy lifestyle, along with eating a balanced diet, and so bringing more exercise into your life can only help your physical and mental health!
Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, improve your heart health, and make you feel generally more positive due to the release of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals into the brain.
Creating a workout routine that covers every muscle group, includes strength training and resistance training as well as cardio can help you to build lean muscle mass, help you to lose weight, increase mobility and flexibility, and feel better generally.
How to build a workout routine you will actually enjoy
So, we know why we should be building a good workout routine, but now we need to know how to actually build a routine. And more importantly, how to build a workout routine we actually enjoy and are motivated to stick to.
Below, we've had a look at some of the steps you can take to build an enjoyable workout routine. Take a look at them now!
Set out your goals
The first thing you should do when creating a fitness routine is to consider what it is you actually want to achieve with this routine. Whether you want to build muscle mass, lose weight, develop an incredible physique, or just feel better generally, you need to ensure you know why you're doing it.
Knowing what you want to achieve can help you to create the right workout routine for your goals and it can also give you an end goal to focus on.
When setting goals you should set two kinds of goals, the ones far off in the future, like having achieved your desired weight loss, and those that can be achieved quickly. The shorter goals should be measurable to help you make note of when you have achieved them.
Smaller goals can include being able to perform a certain amount of reps of a specific exercise or being able to run a certain distance in a specific time frame. These kinds of goals are great to keep you motivated and to keep you on top of your achievements.
Our brains seem to enjoy achievement and so if your goal is just to lose weight and you can't see any results within a few weeks, you may lose the motivation to continue. If your first goal is to be able to complete ten push-ups in the next four weeks though, you have more chance of being able to do this and will be able to see your measurable success, helping you to feel a sense of achievement.
Create a well-rounded routine covering all major muscle groups
The next step is to build a well-rounded routine.
You need to ensure that your routine fits within your set goals. If one of your first goals is to be able to do five squats then focusing all of your effort on upper body exercises isn't conducive to success.
We recommend creating a routine that covers every muscle group to give variety to your routine and to contribute to overall health. Building a routine that focuses just on arm strength may become boring very quickly, but if you have a different day for each of the muscle groups, your workout program can offer you variety.
Whether you want to split your week into a leg day, an arm day, a core day, and a cardio day, or you just want to do two full-body workouts and have done with it, covering all of your muscle groups with a mix of strength training and aerobic exercise is a good way to boost your overall health.
If repeated reps of the same strength training exercises are something you know you will struggle to stick to, check out other forms of exercise that can target different muscles groups and get your heart rate pumping. There is lots of variety in the world of exercise now, from slow and steady movements like those in yoga and pilates practice to intense dance workouts, Zumba classes, and skipping exercises.
To ensure you stick to your fitness routine, you're going to have to work out which exercises you actually want to do!
Some fitness routine idea suggestions
If you're a little stuck on what kind of fitness routine you want to create, we've listed a few common plans below. Check them out for some inspiration.
- Running. Lots of people begin with running three times a week or following programs like the Couch to 5k in order to build up stamina and ability. Running is a great cardio exercise and can help you to lose weight.
- Resistance training. Using resistance bands in your workouts is a good way to build up muscle mass. Resistance training is a form of strength training and you can find routines with a few different exercises that can help to get your blood pumping!
- Aerobic exercises. This can include anything from swimming to rowing to cycling and adding in aerobic exercise can help you to boost your stamina and maintain a healthy weight. Aerobic exercise is an easy exercise type to add to your daily routine. As aerobic exercise can even be brisk walking, you could get in your daily exercise by switching up your morning commute to include aerobic exercises, like cycling or walking.
- Weightlifting. You may set goals that push you to lift heavier and heavier weights. As a form of strength training, weightlifting is a good exercise for losing weight and building up muscle mass.
There are lots and lots of fitness routines you can follow and researching the best fit for you is the easiest way to find a routine that works.
Set out a schedule
Setting a schedule is key to keeping on top of your fitness routine, and it can help you to see your success.
Plan out the days when you want to exercise and make sure they fit in around other things that are happening that day. Having a set time to exercise is even better because it means knowing exactly when you're going to stop everything to work out.
While some people may find the rigidity of a schedule difficult, even having a loose schedule can help, i.e. saying you will work out every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
We have found that having a schedule is also a good way to hold yourself to account. And, if you don't work out, you can use the schedule to work out why that day may not be best and rearrange accordingly.
In our opinion, having a schedule can benefit your fitness routine and help you to stay on track. When building your routine, you can cater it to the amount of free time you have, making it easier to schedule.
Keep a track of your achievements
And finally, whether you keep a written track of all of your achievements, a photographic log, or you just note them in your head, seeing the physical evidence of your hard work is the perfect way to keep yourself motivated.
Our brains love a sense of achievement and being able to congratulate yourself for achieving one of your goals means you will look to the next challenge in a more positive way. Setting a series of small challenges, like we addressed in step 1, is an easy way of making sure you achieve and achieve regularly.
Achieving a small goal every few weeks can make the journey to your big goal seem much easier, much more achievable, and keep you motivated to keep going.
Following these few steps can help you to build a workout plan that is achievable, enjoyable, and successful. To find out more about other considerations within your fitness routine, keep reading!
Other things to consider when building a fitness routine: diet, lifestyle, accessibility
Now we've taken a look at how to build a fitness routine, let's have a look at some considerations you should make regarding the routine. We're going to cover how keeping a healthy diet can help you stay on track with your fitness goals, how accessibility is important in your routine, and how to stay motivated.
Following a healthy diet
We discussed a healthy lifestyle briefly in the introduction and one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle, along with exercise, is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Eating well is good for your physical and mental health, in a similar way to exercise.
A healthy and balanced diet should cover all food groups but should consist mostly of plant foods like fruit, veg and whole grains. Additionally, you need a small number of healthy fats, from oils like extra virgin oil and fruits like avocados, protein from nuts and seeds, and fibre.
A healthy diet should allow you to consume all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs, and you can supplement these needs too if you feel it necessary. You could try adding in a vitamin C supplement each day to ensure you're getting enough of this vital nutrient.
Along with the food we consume, you should also be drinking enough water, especially when exercising. Try buying a reusable bottle and filling it up with water each day to ensure you get enough!
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is helpful for healthy weight loss and can work in conjunction with your workout routines and strength training to ensure you build muscle and burn calories.
Fitting your routine into your life
We discussed this briefly earlier as scheduling is important when it comes to your fitness routine.
When building your routine, it is essential that the exercises you choose to do, the length of time it will take, and whether you need a gym membership, all fit into your lifestyle. You need to ensure you have the time to do the exercise you plan to, that you have a local gym that you can afford, otherwise you will find excuses not to complete your fitness routine.
Make sure you set a time where you can exercise and that it is going to be a time where you can truly focus on the routine. The more distractions you have and the more missed workouts you stack up, the more chance you're going to stop following your plan altogether.
And finally, staying motivated is key.
We discussed setting goals and marking down achievements as a way to stay motivated and on track but there are other ways you can stay motivated too. These include:
- Making it fun! We discussed the different kinds of exercise you can do and so if you're feeling less than motivated then change up your routine. Instead of a 30 min treadmill session, try a thirty-minute dance workout. It will be the same amount of cardio but dancing is more fun than running on a treadmill, right?
- Make it a part of your daily routine. If you keep changing the days and times of your exercise, you will find it easier to skip a session but making your workout a part of your morning or evening routine can help you to stay on track. Repetition can help you to automatically exercise without even thinking about it.
- Create a community. While some may hate to workout alongside others, making a community doesn't mean going on group runs. While you could host weekly dance-a-thons and park jogs, you could also just make a group chat and discuss fitness tips together. Having others along for the ride can help you stay on track and can give you someone else to stay motivated, aside from yourself!
Getting into the routine of exercising every week is the easiest way to support a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can help build strength, improve heart health, and help you feel better overall, so it's a good idea to start doing it regularly.
The key steps to building a workout plan you actually stick to include setting out your goals, creating a rounded plan, creating a schedule, and tracking your achievements. By following these few steps, you should have created a fitness routine you love and enjoy in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fitness plan example?
There are lots of examples of fitness plans. For instance, you may plan to boost your fitness by running 5k three times a week, or you might commit to cycling to work each day. There are lots of ways you can boost your fitness and you can build your own fitness plan that suits your goals. If you would like to build more muscle, consider a plan with lots of strength training, but if you want to lose weight, you may need to combine both resistance exercises and cardio.
How do I make a fitness plan?
To make a fitness plan you need to consider a few things. First, what are your goals? You need to set short-term and long-term goals to ensure you feel a sense of achievement but also have an end goal to look to. Then you need to build a routine that will help you to achieve these goals. Do you want more defined muscles? You will need to design a routine that can help you to build more defined muscle. Once you have designed the routine, you should set a schedule and stick to it!
What is a good personal fitness plan?
A good fitness routine is a routine that you enjoy, you stick to, and that helps you move toward your end goals. You should create a routine based on your goals and what you can fit into your life. To stay committed to your plan, ensure you make a point of creating short-term goals that allow you to feel a sense of achievement.
What are the 3 most common fitness plans?
The most common fitness plans usually revolve around weight loss and so generally include lots of cardio. People will commonly take up aerobic exercise like running, cycling or swimming to enhance their fitness and kickstart weight loss. Additionally, as the benefits of strength training become more well-known, more and more people have begun creating fitness routines that centre on lifting weights too.