We all have our opinions on working out: looking forward to the daily exercise; not finding the time; finding it tedious. Our past experiences, activity level, and general interests all play a role in how we feel about exercise. Whether you love working out or just starting to explore fitness, or haven’t enjoyed working out in the past but wonders if you can learn to like it due to its health benefits, you can create a routine that works for you.
Working out is highly individualized based on activity level, reasons for exercising, health history, primary goals, age, and time. There’s no one-size-fits-all; everyone deserves to have their personalized workout routine crafted around their unique situation for the best experience and greatest results. Although you can certainly follow someone else’s workout routine, you can benefit from adjusting it to target you.
Working out should never feel too time-consuming, too complex, too confusing, or like it isn’t a good fit because one of the best features of exercise is that it’s entirely adjustable! To ensure your workout is always enjoyable, easily slotted into your day, and feels highly effective, all you have to do is a little customization. Here are a few ways to start your journey of making your workout routine your own.
Define Your Goals and Parameters
You know yourself—what you’re capable of, what you want out of your workout, and how much time you have to devote to exercise each week. Therefore, you are the best person to set how your workout will look. Start by defining your goals for your workout routine (i.e., building muscle, improving mood, losing weight, burning off or increasing energy) and how often you’d like to fit it into your week. Once you know these details, you can choose exercises and activities that align with your needs. Next, consider building a schedule for what you’ll focus on each day and when you’ll rest.
Build Your Routine
A great way to start outlining your routine for those who don’t already have specific exercises they enjoy is to focus on different activities rather than specific moves (such as swimming, running, walking, or dancing). Variety is key to ensure you don’t get bored. Of course, on some days, you can follow a pre-made set of exercises if you’d like, but be sure to tailor them to your needs in the moment.
Properly Prepare for Your Workout
Before you begin working out, you should always prepare your body for the hard work it is about to do. This way, you’ll ensure your optimal enjoyment and success. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, so you’re ready to lose some hydration through sweat. If you haven’t been diligent with drinking water up until your workout, get your fluids while you’re getting ready. Working out while dehydrated is a surefire way to have a miserable session that leaves you tired and burnt out before even beginning.
Getting ready should include changing into workout attire and padded running shoes that help cushion your body’s movement. Aim for loose clothes that allow your skin to breathe (or wicking, absorbent material) or made of wicking, porous material. Don’t wear anything too loose, but find a happy medium through comfortable clothes in which you have your entire range of movement.
Another aspect of preparing for your workout is stretching your body. Diving into your workout without warming up is a recipe for sore limbs. Instead, do some stretching, making sure to meet your body where it is. Don’t push yourself too hard; your goal is to loosen tight muscles.
Finally, make sure you’re providing yourself with energy for your exercise. Depending on how energized you feel before your workout, you can eat a nutritious snack anywhere from one to four hours before your session. Just as you want to personalize your workout, you can also personalize your pre workout fuel. Pre-workout formulas can help you achieve your unique fitness goals and make your experience more enjoyable.
Continue To Increase Your Difficulty at Your Own Pace
As you’re consistent with your routine, you’ll be able to increase your difficulty. Try intensifying different factors like distance, speed, incline, and repetitions at a comfortable pace. The only person privy to how you’re feeling and what you’re capable of is you, so always listen to your body. At the same time, don’t be afraid to try slowly pushing yourself a little harder.
There are multiple factors to consider when creating a personalized workout routine. The most important thing to remember is that personalization means you get to customize your workout around you, not the other way around. When you choose how and when you’ll exercise, you can make the experience both enjoyable and effective, so go ahead and create your routine!