So, you have decided to set some fitness or weight loss goals for the new year! That’s great and a step to making a change in yourself! But after you set your fitness goals, what comes next? How do you achieve the goal you want and once its achieved how do you maintain or progress from your goals? Establishing a fitness routine can be the answer to all these questions and also help you achieve, maintain and progress your fitness goals.
First, a fitness routine is like your fitness to do list. It is something that can physically be written down or typed up, it is your plan for exercise during your week. The first step to creating a fitness routine is deciding when you can fit exercise into your daily schedule. To determine this there are two questions you need to ask yourself: Where is there time to workout and what time do you like best. Sometimes, the time when you want to work out won’t match up with your schedule but it’s important to ask these questions so that you have a starting point for your fitness routine. It’s also important to realize that the time you can workout each day may vary. For example, you may be able to workout at 4pm on Monday but Thursday is your late day, so you might have to wake up early or push working out till later in the evening. I know everyone has busy schedules and families to attend to but if you are serious about your fitness goals then you’ll make time for yourself to workout. Now, I am not saying skip spending time with family, your kid’s sports game, etc. What I am saying though, is that a good workout can be completed in less than 30 minutes so there has to be time within your day to focus on yourself by exercising.
Your next step in establishing a fitness routine, after deciding the times that work for you is determining how often or how many times per week you plan to exercise. Now this is going to vary person to person but there are general recommendations to assist you in determining this factor. According to the ACSM, (American College of Sports Medicine) it is recommended that adults complete 150 minute or more of easy to moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. For strength (resistance) training, the ACSM recommends strength training each muscle twice a week. Again, these are recommendations based off of data from studies completed. It is up to you to determine the amount of times per week you’d like to exercise. Here at KSP we recommend our members to come 2 times per week at a minimum to get the full benefits of our exercise program but 4 times per week would be ideal. Again, these are recommendations when planning your weekly fitness routine and don’t need to be followed exactly.
The last piece in making a fitness routine is to look at your fitness goals and turn them into S.M.A.R. T goals. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. If you follow this acronym, you are more likely to achieve your goals. This is because it helps you plan out what steps you need to follow in order to complete the goals you have set. For example, rather than say “I want to lose weight”. A SMART goal would say “I want to lose 10 pounds through exercise 4 days a week and limiting my intake of processed food by March 13th”. The second goal meets all the criteria of a SMART goal. It is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. If your goals are already S.M.A.R.T then great, if they are not consider rewriting your goals to help you achieve them and help in the process of creating a fitness routine.
The steps are just tools to aid you in creating your fitness routine. Each routine is going to be unique to each person. I hope everyone found this to be helpful and can assist everyone on their way to achieving their fitness goals.