One of the many keys to success to obtaining a happy healthy lifestyle is learning how to incorporate exercise into your everyday life. Sounds easy enough. But the truth is, this is where many people get confused, frustrated and lost. How much exercise is enough? What types of exercise should I incorporate? The list of questions can be endless. It can even make the task of working out seem overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. With a few good plans, a course of action and knowing how much time you realistically have available each day, working out can be easily incorporated without all of the frustration.
One of the first steps in creating a workout schedule is knowing how much time you have available. The easiest way to accomplish this is by getting out your calendar and actually writing out your schedule. Include all of your appointments, work schedules, school schedules, meetings and anything else that needs to be included. Now look at what time slots are left and utilize these time frames to get your workout done. Keep in mind that a good workout doesn't have to take hours. 30 minutes of good cardio, three to four times per week is plenty, which leaves three days left for strength training. Again, no need to spend hours at the gym. A good strength training routine should last about 30 to 45 minutes. Altogether if you planned four 30 minute cardio sessions and three 45 minute strength training sessions your total for the entire week would only be 4.5 hours.
The next step to creating your workout schedule is figuring out your workout routine. Do you like hiking? Biking? Treadmill? Running? Dance classes? Yoga? Figuring out how to get and incorporate your cardio workout doesn't have to be some boring daunting task. It is what you make of it. If you feel compelled to do 30 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical machine at the gym, by all means schedule that in. If you get more joy out of changing things up everyday and being outdoors then incorporate those types of activities into your schedule. Just make sure you are including activities that you enjoy doing so you will stay motivated and on track. The more varied you make your routine the less likely you are to become bored. Be specific in scheduling out your time and what you plan on doing during that time. This will help eliminate the "guessing game" of what your workout is going to consist of and also allow you to plan out your day better. Apply this technique to your strength training days as well. One day work on upper body, the next day work on your legs and of course the next day work on your core. By scheduling your workout out in segments it allows your muscles to rest properly in between strength training days. This will help create a lean and sculpted muscle mass.
Lastly, make sure to write your workout schedule down in your calendar and actually follow through with your plans. Writing out your workout schedule will help hold yourself accountable for your time and also help you track your progress and see areas that might not be working as well as you thought they would. Finding a reliable workout buddy is also a great idea if you have problems staying motivated and holding yourself accountable. Workout buddies are great for bouncing ideas off of each other and keeping each other motivated and on track. The best piece of advice I have for anyone just starting out is to keep it fun. This has to be enjoyable for you in order for you to stick with it. Plan it out, write it down and stick with it!