Workout Routine

When Should You Start Developing a Workout Routine?

Developing an effective workout routine is key to reaching your fitness goals. This requires a well-balanced program that combines cardio and strength training.

Start with a basic body-weight and/or free-weight strength workout to build your endurance. Workouts you can do without equipment that are easy to follow on the Peloton App are also great options.

1. Start With a Warm-Up Routine

If you’re planning on starting a new exercise routine, it is important to consider including a warm-up and cool-down routine. Adding these extra steps before and after your workout will help prepare your body for the strenuous activity and can also help prevent sports injuries.

The goal of a warm-up is to gradually ease your body into the upcoming activity. The warm-up can be as simple as marching in place, but should also include some stretches and activities that mimic the type of movement you’ll be doing during your workout. Performing warm-up exercises will help increase your muscle temperature, which will make them more pliable and loose, increasing your range of motion and flexibility.

Professional athletes often spend a lot of time warming up before their games or contests. For example, tennis pros may hit balls for an hour before a match to warm up their muscles and get them ready for the game. In addition, many vocal performers use a warm-up to help lubricate their vocal cords in preparation for singing or talking.

A proper general warm-up should last about five to ten minutes and be done at a light level of physical activity. This can include walking, jogging, easy swimming, stationary bike riding, skipping or easy aerobics. The intensity of a general warm-up is largely determined by the fitness level of the athlete, but should always be low enough to work up a light sweat.

When performing a warm-up, it’s helpful to think about your personal goals and reminders for why you started this workout routine. This will keep you motivated throughout the entire workout session and can help prevent boredom or complacency. You can even try pairing your exercise with a friend, which can provide additional social and motivational support to help you stick with your new fitness regimen.

Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones in your workout can also be an excellent way to stay on track. For example, if you go for 14 days without missing a workout, treat yourself to a spa day or book a massage.

Start With a Warm-Up Routine

2. Start Slowly

Developing and sticking with a workout routine takes time. It’s important to be patient with yourself and focus on the positive benefits of exercising, such as a better mood and reduced stress levels. It’s also critical to avoid overdoing it, which can lead to injuries like shin splints or knee pain. To avoid this, exercise in short sessions throughout the day and don’t overwork yourself.

If you’re new to working out or returning after a long break, it’s important to assess your fitness level and start slow. Doing so will help you determine the intensity of your workouts and give you a starting point to look back at when tracking your progress.

Aim for a combination of cardio and strength training each week. Cardio workouts, such as running, swimming or cycling, build cardiovascular endurance and stamina, while strength training workouts, such as yoga, bodyweight exercises or free weight circuits, strengthen muscles and improve stability. Most healthy people will benefit from a mix of the two, but always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Vary your workouts to keep things interesting. It’s easy to get bored when you do the same thing every time, which can result in burnout and stall your fitness gains. Instead of running or lifting weights over and over, try other workouts such as biking, hiking, boxing, swimming or HIIT.

Make sure to warm up and cool down before and after your workout, and take a rest day each week. It’s also a good idea to track your progress by keeping a workout log or using a wearable device that tracks your activity and sleep. This can increase your commitment to the routine and make it easier to stick with in the long run.

Enlist a buddy to workout with you and keep you accountable. Studies show that people are more likely to follow through on their exercise goals with the support of a partner. It also helps to have a goal in mind, such as hitting a certain number of miles per week or reaching a target fitness level. When you hit your milestone, reward yourself. A spa day, a new outfit or concert tickets can be great motivators to keep you going.

3. Keep Track of Your Goals

Once you get the hang of your new routine, you’ll want to keep track of your progress. That can be done in a few ways, including using an app to help you track your exercises or simply taking note of when you’ve hit workout milestones like going for 14 days straight. You can also try sharing your workout goals with friends to keep each other accountable and motivated.

The best fitness goal is one that’s specific, measurable and time-bound. For example, instead of saying you want to “get fit,” set a target like working out for 30 minutes a day for three months. This will make it easier to assess your performance and make changes as needed.

If you’re new to exercise, it’s important to be realistic about your abilities. It’s also important to listen to your body and respect any physical discomfort. For example, if you notice a lot of soreness or pain, it may be a sign that you need to reduce the intensity of your workout or switch up your exercise routine.

Incorporating a mix of cardio and strength training is ideal for most healthy adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cardio workouts like brisk walking and cycling can help improve cardiovascular health, while muscle-building exercises like lunges and squats can foster strength and stability.

Another way to keep track of your goals is by tracking body measurements. This can be a great motivator as you see the results of your hard work in the mirror. You can use a scale, measuring tape or a body composition app to measure your weight, lean muscle mass, flexibility and more.

It’s also helpful to find ways to celebrate your progress and maintain a positive attitude towards your exercise plan. This can include rewarding yourself when you meet a workout milestone, such as booking a massage once you’ve reached 10 weeks of consistently walking. You could also ask a friend to join you for an outdoor hike or attend a yoga class together.

Finally, make it easy to keep your workout gear close by storing your yoga mat in the family room or sticking a foam roller on your desk. Setting up a convenient reminder will help you stick to your routine, even on the days when you’re feeling unmotivated or busy.

Keep Track of Your Goals

4. Stick with It

When it comes to exercise, consistency is key. Sticking with your routine is challenging and requires willpower, but it’s important to stay the course and not abandon it. After all, if you don’t work out consistently, you won’t see the positive results you’re after. To make it easier to stick with your workout routine, start small and build up gradually. For example, instead of committing to working out for an hour, focus on 30 minutes at first. Then, once you’ve mastered that, try increasing the duration over time.

In addition, make sure that you’re focusing on your goals, which should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). This will help keep you motivated as you progress. For example, if weight loss is not your goal but getting stronger is, you might aim to go from using 5-pound weights to 10 pounds or to increase the number of reps in a set.

Finally, it’s also important to celebrate your victories along the way, no matter how big or small they are. Whether it’s losing a pound, completing a tough workout or improving your balance, these wins will boost your confidence and make you more likely to continue with your exercise routine. You may even want to consider finding a way to track your progress, such as taking photos, keeping a journal or downloading a fitness app.

To make it even easier to stick with your workout routine, remove any obstacles that might get in the way. For instance, if you’re not a morning person, schedule your workouts for the afternoon or evening. If you struggle to get out the door on time, put your clothes on the night before and keep a gym bag in the car so that you’re ready to head out as soon as you leave the house.

Another tip is to wear comfortable, fitting and supportive exercise clothing. Studies have shown that wearing clothing that makes you feel confident and empowered can boost your motivation and performance. So don’t be afraid to splurge on some nice fitness gear.

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