Much as with any regular task, going into a new exercise regime with a plan can have a positive impact on sticking with it for the longer-term. The tips that we present here have not been compiled with the super-fit and professionals in mind. Instead, these are 10 actionable tips that amateurs and those of moderate experience alike can put to use to give themselves a fantastic chance of success as they embark on their new routine.
1. Give Exercise the Priority It Deserves
If you are at the point where you are seeking out tips for your exercise plan, then it is clearly important to you. This importance should be reflected in the efforts put into maintaining the routine. A good exercise platform leads to losing some weight where required, feeling better in yourself and increasing energy levels – all benefits that make it a great idea. This means not only finding the time, but also asking for help if you need it. Fitness and medical professionals are both well-versed in their fields and may be able to offer personalised assistance, and the majority are happy to help.
2. Set Goals
Goal setting is involved in the creation of all sorts of plans, and we recommend the SMART system for those planning out their first fitness regime. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. If the goals you have in mind correspond fully to those then they are an appropriate component of the overall plan and meeting them will result in an increased burst of motivation for the next set as you progress.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Weight – But Not Every Day
Your exercise goals are your own, but whether you are seeking to lose fat, build muscle or achieve just about anything else from your new plan, stepping on the scales is among the quickest and easiest ways of seeing a real change. Ideally, you’ll seek to weigh yourself once a week on the same day and at the same time. Doing so more regularly is not recommended as it is possible for weight to fluctuate for reasons that are unrelated to your exercise plan, and seeing the scales heading in the wrong direction can be demotivating.
4. Create a Schedule and Record Your Progress
Depending on your own passion for planning, you might want to schedule by the week, month or even longer. The important thing is that you do have something to work towards. The planning is the easy part, and it is essential to be realistic on your achievements as milestones within the plan are reached. Successfully reaching a stated goal can lead to rewards that you feel are appropriate and have been earned through doing well.
5. Leave some Wiggle Room
Ideally, you’ll be able to stick with the exercise plan that you have put together without any issues, but you are fortunate if things work out that way. Missing a session is always excusable and planning for such eventualities can make it easier to get back on track whenever that is suitable. This can also be a great learning experience, as it will be easier to plan for similar occurrences when putting together the next plan.
6. Make Time
Depending on your exercise of choice, the chances are that you will not be able to do anything productive at the same time outside of listening to podcasts or music. Ideally, your exercise times should be blocked out as busy times, but those timings do not need to be excessive. Results will start to show with just 30 minutes each session, and they do not even need to be every day to start heading in the right direction.
7. Choose Exercises You Enjoy
Among the quickest ways to drop off schedule is to make the exercise plan feel like a chore. Even those that are not the biggest fans of physical activity will have exercises that they enjoy more than others and building around these as the core activities will ensure that you keep on coming back for more.
8. Supplement Your Routine by Making Mundane Tasks More Active
More is generally better regarding exercise and slight lifestyle tweaks can make for even faster results. Walking instead of driving, breaking up long periods of sitting down by walking around and taking the dog for one more walk each day can have a material impact on reaching your exercise goals.
9. Adapt to Cope with Potential Excuses
Not exercising is an easy option. Almost as easy is coming up with an excuse not to do so. If you feel you are too busy, set aside specific time for a short session. If you cannot afford a gym membership, start off with home-based exercises until you can. Even if you are not athletically inclined, there is an exercise for everyone, and it is all about being open to modifying your behaviour slightly to reach your goals.
10. Take Time to Review
In the early stages of this feature, we mentioned the importance of planning, sticking to it and recording how you got on compared to the ideas you had. Once the plan has expired, it is time to go back and see what worked and what did not. In doing this yourself, it is completely personal and there is no reason to bend the truth with your achievements – the only person you’re cheating is yourself. It is unlikely that you will have got it all spot on the first time, but that is not a problem. Successes and failures can both serve to shape your approach going forward and the more you know, the more useful your upcoming plans will be.