Creating an exercise plan and sticking with it is easier said than done. There are plenty of things that can get in the way of your fitness routine, from work to family and other commitments. However, exercise is fundamental to your health and you should make an effort to lead an active lifestyle, no matter how busy you are. Regular exercise will help you maintain your ideal weight, increase your fitness levels, and enhance your quality of life. It will also lower your risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here are some ideas to help you create an exercise plan and stick with it.

Set achievable fitness goals

The first step to creating an effective exercise plan is to set yourself fitness goals. Going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one can be challenging at first. You should avoid setting yourself unrealistic fitness goals or you risk setting yourself up for frustration and failure. A better approach is to set yourself a few realistic short-term and long-term goals that you would like to achieve. Some examples of short-term fitness goals may include going to the gym three times a week or walking for 30 minutes each day. A long-term fitness goal may be to lower your BMI or run a half marathon for charity. Make sure that your exercise goals are measurable so that you can track your progress and identify when a specific goal has been reached. Fitness goals are a crucial element of any successful exercise plan as they will keep you on track and encourage you to progress quickly. Make sure that you track your performance during each workout so you can see improvements. For instance, if you can do 10 press-ups, then try to increase this to 12 during your next workout. You can use a wearable fitness device during workouts to monitor things like your heart rate and calories burned.

Fit exercise around your schedule

Having a workout schedule that doesnโ€™t fit your lifestyle is one of the main reasons why people give up on their exercise plan according to It is unlikely that you will have the time and energy to exercise for an hour every day, and you should avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Instead, figure out how much time you have available and fit exercise into that time rather than trying to create additional time in your schedule for workouts. Keep in mind that you will have more time available on certain days, so avoid creating a rigid exercise plan with set workouts. It is better, therefore, to take a flexible approach to exercise and do as much as you can with the time you have available. You should also avoid the mentality of thinking that short workouts are a waste of time. A high-intensity workout can burn 100 calories in just 10 minutes, meaning you can still have a good workout even on your busiest days.

Hire a personal trainer

Personal trainers can be expensive, but enlisting the help of a professional is a great way to kickstart your exercise plan and increase your fitness levels fast. Hiring a personal trainer can be particularly beneficial if you are new to exercise and unsure where to start. A personal trainer will create a bespoke exercise plan based on your abilities and fitness goals. According to Loco Crossfit: โ€œA personal trainer will also help you overcome exercise barriers, achieve better results quicker, and avoid accidents and injuries.โ€ If you are completely serious about incorporating fitness into your lifestyle, then itโ€™s worth considering hiring a personal trainer who will be able to support you on your exercise journey.

Stay active during the day

If you find it difficult to stick with scheduled workout sessions and often have to cancel your exercise plans, then you should try to become more active in other ways. Minor changes can have a big impact on your activity levels and increase your fitness levels over time. For example, having a sedentary lifestyle and sitting at a desk for hours at a time can harm your health and lead to weight gain. If you work an office job, then make a conscious effort to get up from your desk every hour. You could go for a quick five-minute walk. This will increase your activity levels during the day and also give you a break from your work tasks to relax and recharge. Other simple ways to make fitness part of your lifestyle include walking to the shops instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and take part in active hobbies such as team sports or dance classes.

Donโ€™t forget to eat healthily

Exercise is beneficial to your health, but you will struggle to see the result of your hard work if youโ€™re eating an unhealthy diet high in calories and fats. This is particularly true if one of your fitness goals is to lose weight or body fat. Eating a healthy diet will complement your exercise plan and help you achieve your fitness goals faster. Try to stick with a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, and lean protein. Make sure that you are eating nutritious meals and snacks to give you energy when you exercise and avoid food options that are high in sugar and salt. You can track your daily diet using online tools like Myprotein’s IIFYM calculator. This will enable you to monitor your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. You can use this information to adapt your diet and maximize the result of your exercise plan.

Final thoughts

A successful exercise plan doesnโ€™t have to involve strict workout sessions and there are plenty of ways to boost your fitness without going to the gym. Minor changes to your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your fitness level and improve your overall health. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and find an exercise plan that works for you. That way, you will be far more motivated to stick with your exercise routine and achieve your fitness goals.

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