So goes the saying: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” However, don’t let that stop you; Without a plan, you’re not going to get anywhere! To begin, you’re going to need to know three things about your workout: When, what, and where.

When

When do you have time to work out? It’s best if you can get in at least thirty minutes—preferably sixty—between five and seven days a week. This isn’t feasible for everyone, though. Maybe you can set aside two hours twice a week. Maybe you can only set aside an hour three times a week. While you want to push yourself if you can, doing anything at all is better than doing nothing, so consider all the possibilities you can to get yourself exercising.

What

What are you going to be doing? Are you trying to keep your heart rate low and your calories off? Are you trying to build muscle? Are you training for a particular sport? These will all demand different schedules. Aerobics should be done as often as possible, while weightlifting needs to give different muscles their rest days, and conditioning needs to be balanced with sports practice. Take all these into account.

Where

Now that you’ve figured those out, you can decide on where to do your workout. You may need to look around to find the best place; you want something that offers the exercises you need that’s accessible to your schedule. The pool at the junior high? The gym near your work? The park by your parents’ house? All of these could be great options for one person but worthless suggestions to another. Look around your area, as well as areas you frequent, to find what works best. Don’t forget— if you’ve got the money and/or are looking in to long-term investments, you can bring free weights, treadmills, and other machinery right into your home.

Make A Schedule

Now that you’ve settled on when, what, and where, pencil it in to your calendar or type it up on your phone or tablet. Don’t just tell yourself “tomorrow”—tomorrow never comes! Pick dates and times and put them where you’ll see them.

Keeping the Schedule

Now that you’ve set up your schedule, find ways to keep yourself accountable. This is what separates many who develop healthy habits from those who never reach their goals—accountability. Keep a journal and write in what you’ve done each time you exercise. Include the kind of workout, the duration, and the weights or resistance levels as applicable. Also, take pictures—with cameras so prolific in our world now, there’s no reason not to take a selfie on a weekly basis to chart your progress (and maybe brag somewhere down the line). Don’t shy away from either of these activities; not only does the guilt from an empty journal page help motivate you to stick to your schedule, the pictures and journals combined can help you figure out what is working and what isn’t, helping you make adjustments to your routine. Contact us today to learn more about workout tips and physical therapy!