Here’s the good news. A well-designed fitness plan can help you achieve all of these things and more! If you’re hoping to beat the odds this year and end the year stronger than when you started it, this guide to smart fitness planning is a must-read.
It All Starts with a Plan
Many people get so carried away by their dreams of becoming healthier that they lose sight of one key factor: You can’t have a smart fitness plan if you don’t have a plan at all. Says PT Direct: “An exercise plan is essentially a ‘roadmap’ that clearly identifies the steps [you’ll] need to take to reach [your] desired destination. Research has shown that goal setting greatly increases the chances of adherence and the achievement of outcomes.”
Inherent to this plan is setting your fitness goals. For this, you’ll need a baseline. Explains the Mayo Clinic: “You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress.”
While it’s possible to assess your fitness level on your own, enlisting the services of a qualified personal trainer can help you optimize your fitness program for your unique capabilities and goals.
A Realistic Plan, That Is
One of the main reasons many people fail when they begin a new fitness plan is that they attempt to do too much too soon. Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for injury and burnout. Conversely, by committing to start slow and building from there, you can ensure a journey to fitness that’s more tortoise than hare.
This is an area where the advice of a personal trainer comes in handy. From teaching you the proper form for exercise moves to incorporating cross-training for balance, a personal trainer can help you set attainable goals with injury-prevention at the forefront. (Sign up for a personal trainer session at Brick Bodies today to get started.)
Make it Mandatory
Planning to go to the gym is one thing. Actually going is another. Overcoming this common hurdle can mean the difference between making fitness part of your daily life and perennially pushing it aside as other, seemingly more pressing things come up. When you stop and think about it, is anything more important than your good health? Suggests the Mayo Clinic: “To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Plan to watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike, or take a break to go on a walk at work.”
Embracing more activity outside the gym can also help you adopt a more movement-minded way of life. This can be something as simple as committing yourself to taking the steps at work or parking in a faraway spot when grocery shopping.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any fitness plan may surprise you. It is committing it to paper. A growing body of evidence suggests that writing down goals may be the simplest way to keep yourself on track. Other ways to hold yourself accountable include working with a personal trainer, taking a group class, enlisting a buddy to join you in your new fitness initiatives, or signing up for a fitness challenge at your gym.