If you've been trying to exercise regularly and it's just not happening, you might need a firmer schedule to motivate you. Sticking to a regular exercise routine is key if you want to see results -- whether that means losing those extra few pounds or getting your heart in shape.
Figure out your goal. If you're aiming for general health and well-being, a short 30-minute workout on most days of the week would be enough. If you're trying to lose weight, however, you'll need to schedule longer, more involved workouts. Figuring out what you want to accomplish will help you set up the right schedule.
Put it in writing. Don't just tell yourself "I'll exercise three times per week." Decide which days and at what times your workouts will take place. Schedule your workouts at times when you know you'll be able to complete them, whether that is before or after work, during lunchtime -- if you're just taking a short walk, for example -- or after the kids come home from school and you can take them along.
Set up both cardio and strength training days. Depending on your goals, you should be doing cardio three to six times per week. Add to that at least two weekly workouts for weight training. Give your muscles a chance to rest by Aerobic/cardio exercise can be done every day.
Schedule a mix of activities. Mixing up your workouts prevents your muscles from getting used to certain exercises. If you run one day, cycle the next, and then take a dance class on the third day. This mix of activities "confuses" your muscles and helps you achieve better results and increases your metabolism.
Keep track of your progress so you can modify your workout schedule as the weeks go by. For example, if your weight is not budging, try scheduling longer workouts or more exercise days every week.
- Schedule stretching into your week if you find that you're too sure after your workout.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.