Fall Into Fitness: 4 Steps to Jump-Start Your Way into a Fall Workout Routine
- By Danielle Rogers
Where do I start? This is a question I get asked often as a personal trainer and group exercise teacher. So many people feel daunted by the idea of beginning a fitness regimen that they end up not even attempting to take the first step. I’m going to take the mystery out of starting a new fitness routine with these 4 simple steps!
Step 1: Break out Your Calendar
One of the best ways to make sure you’re fitting exercise into the work week is to schedule it into your calendar just as you would any other important appointment. Many people are likely to keep their doctor appointments and scheduled meetings for work or other professional commitments, so it’s equally as important to schedule time in the calendar for your health. I often encourage clients to take a look at their calendars on a Sunday and map out the days and times that they can fit in their workouts. With a clear plan you will be more likely to check fitness off your list.
Step 2: Set Attainable Goals
If I had a dime for every time someone told me they were going to workout every day as part of their newfound enthusiasm for fitness I could retire. I don’t like to set my clients up to fail, I want them to succeed for the long haul. I recommend setting realistic goals as opposed to hitting the ground running and not even being able to finish the month out because you have hurt yourself or are burned out from doing too much all at once. This is a recipe for disaster and can sabotage your plan.
Fitness is a lifelong journey and a lifetime commitment. It’s not about the short-term fix that will give you immediate satisfaction. If you’re looking to change for the better then look at your journey as a lifestyle change with longstanding results and immeasurable health benefits.
If you’re a beginner, I suggest starting out with 2-3 days of cardio activity and 1 day of strength training per week. Your cardio activity can range from 30-40 minutes and you will want to be working in your target heart rate zone. If you would like to know what your target heart rate zone is, plug your age and exercise level into this calculator.
Your weekly strength training session should involve weights and should endure between 20-30 minutes. By setting achievable goals you will feel more confident about committing to fitness throughout the year.
Step 3: Make the Most of Your Time
If you’re going to devote time in your week to working out, make that time count! I would rather see someone doing strong intervals on a treadmill or strength training circuits with weights for 20 minutes than spinning their wheels on a stationary bike for an hour.
If you are really limited for time, do strength-training circuits. Think of these intervals like cardio with weights. Perform 4-6 weight-training exercises, each enduring 30 seconds. You would repeat each circuit 2-3 times with rest between each cycle. This is by far one of the most effective and efficient ways to boost your metabolism, build lean muscle mass and make your workouts count!
Step 4: Mix up Your Routine
If you want extra motivation to help you get out of a fitness rut, jump into a new fitness class! There are thousands of diverse and inspiring options out there for you to try. Whether you’re looking to up the ante with an intense outdoor boot camp, strengthen your core in Pilates, or get your zen on in yoga, there is a way for you to add some variety to your fitness plan. Check out your local fitness studio or gym to find classes that will help you stay committed to your goals. And bring a friend with you as there is power in numbers and you can keep each other accountable.