spring workout

Develop a Workout Schedule That Works for You

In order to stay healthy, exercise is a must! The problem is that there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get in a one hour workout.  This all-to-common excuse just doesn’t cut it! No matter how busy we are, finding the time to develop a workout schedule is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight and staying in good physical health, too.

The first order of business is to find activities you like doing.  Not everyone enjoys going to the gym.  Another great option is to make use of beautiful weather by walking or running outside or even moving an exercise mat and some free weights outside to get a good strength training workout. Another option is to take a bike ride or play tennis with friends.  It doesn’t matter how you get your heart rate up, only that you do.  There are many forms of exercise and activities to choose from, so spend a few weeks experimenting with what works for you.

After you’ve found activities you enjoy doing, or at least ones that are feasible for you, the next step is to develop a workout schedule that you can follow.  It doesn’t make much sense to dedicate two hours a day seven days a week to working out in your new workout schedule if you in fact don’t have that kind of time.  Instead, find places in your busy schedule where you can insert workouts. Even if you can only squeeze in 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there, it is better than no exercise at all!

One option is to plan to workout after you get home from school, work or other errands in the evening.  This is often a great way to relieve the day’s stress.  The down side is that it is easy to talk yourself out of the workout due to tiredness or other activities that you need to accomplish throughout the day. Workouts begin to slip down the line of priorities and often aren’t done.

Another great way to organize a workout schedule is to set your alarm earlier in the morning. Don’t cringe just yet! Despite the fact that you may not consider yourself a morning person, working out in the morning is a fantastic way to give yourself more energy and feel alert throughout the day. It may take a few weeks to adjust to your new schedule, but once you do, you will begin to notice increased energy levels.  It has also been found that doing cardiovascular exercise in the morning leads to better fat burn. This is because when you workout first thing in the morning your body does not have available food calories to burn.  Instead, the body must draw upon stored fat for energy.

When developing your workout schedule, keep in mind that it is best to have a balance between cardio activities and strength training for ultimate health.

Workout Schedule Example #1:

Monday – 1 hour of cardio activity

Tuesday – Arm Workout

Wednesday – 1 hour of cardio activity

Thursday – Thigh Workout

Friday – 1 hour of cardio activity and ab exercises

Saturday – 90 minutes of cardio activity

Sunday – Rest

Feel free to tweak this workout schedule to suit your needs. For example, your rest day may be better suited on a Wednesday, or you may choose to implement different strength training routines.  While you can do cardio consecutive days without harm, you should only do strength training every other day at the most to prevent injury.

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