How to Design Your Own Exercise Program

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For many people, developing a consistent exercise routine is one of the hardest parts on the journey with weight. It can be difficult to find a workout you enjoy, or one that you’re able to steadily get better at. But no matter how challenging exercise may be, regular physical activity is necessary to your health – not just for your weight, but for your bones, joints and muscles, too!

You may have seen popular workout programs or routines on television or online, created by well-known athletic trainers or fitness gurus. Perhaps you’ve tried following established exercise plans to guide your physical activity, but they’re difficult to commit to or get motivated by. Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Everyone is different, and your exercise program can be different as well! We’re here to show you how to build your own routine from the ground up.

Do it Yourself: Build Your Own Exercise Program

Your exercise program can be as unique as you are! Just follow these basics guidelines:

  • Consult your physician – First, you should talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  • Assess your goals – Write down specific goals you want to accomplish. Are you aiming for a goal weight? Do you want to train for a specific event? Gain more energy? The more specific, the better!
  • Define your plan – With the above goals in mind, create a plan. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Give yourself room to work hard and improve, and set yourself up for success by creating goals that are “do-able” and within your reach. Make sure you’re able to track your progress!
  • Determine your current fitness level – This will help you pick a starting point. You may not be able to run five miles right away. You can begin with an activity as simple as walking your dog or going for a swim in the pool.
  • Pick an exercise (or a few) – Get creative! You should be motivated by your workouts. What types of activities do you enjoy? If you like nature, consider walking in the park or on the beach. If you enjoy sports, pick a sport you’re interested in learning! Ultimately, you should have FUN with exercise as you improve your fitness level.
  • Gauge the intensity of your exercise routine – Learn how your body reacts to movement. To avoid hurting yourself when you first begin, start out with a low to moderate intensity. Examples of low intensity exercise might be walking or swimming, while moderate intensity exercise might be biking (slower than 10 miles per hour), tennis, water aerobics or brisk walking.
  • Monitor your intensity – Your exercise should fall within the range of comfort. Try monitoring your heart rate, or paying attention to physical sensations such as an increased breathing rate, muscle fatigue or increased sweating. If your physical sensations become too much to handle, consider lowering the intensity of your workout.
  • Increase your intensity – As you gradually improve your fitness level, you can move on to a more vigorous intensity such as jogging, hiking up hill, biking at a faster speed or swimming laps.
  • Vary it up – Finally, switch up your routine from time to time. By varying your workouts, you can avoid hitting weight plateaus and feeling bored. You might even try targeting different areas of your body, or participate in an activity that you’ll feel more challenged by!

Want more tips for designing your own exercise program? You can read the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE.

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