by Shelly Stinson
Just as there is no one diet that can help every person lose excess weight (wouldn’t that be nice?), there is also no one workout routine that provides a healthy, fit body for everyone. Instead, a personalized approach is necessary based on your body type, current physical condition, and desired results—what top shape means to you.
How do you create this sort of individualized approach for yourself, enabling you to finally have the physique and fitness level you desire? By following some simple guidelines:
Decide what type of results you want
In order to create an effective, personalized routine, you have to first know what type of results you want. For instance, is your goal to lose weight, build muscle, or a little bit of both? Knowing this up front helps you create a better, more effective plan focusing on the results you want to achieve.
Think about your schedule
Another thing to consider is your schedule. The easier it is to make exercise part of your day, the more likely it is you’ll do it. For instance, if you’re in your first real job since college and still trying to drop “the freshman 15,” then it may be best to set your workouts right before or after work, when you’re already out and about. Or if you have a one-hour lunch break, that would be a good time to fit in a workout too.
Choose activities you enjoy
Before you pick your cardio or strength training exercises, make sure they’re going to be something you enjoy so you stick with them. Not sure which ones will make you want to work out over and over again? Take this “Exercise Personality” Quiz and discover which ones suit you best.
Don’t get too caught up in the details
You could spend a lifetime trying to figure out how much weight to lift, how often to work out, or contemplating any other factor associated with exercise. However, focus less on the details and more on taking positive steps. Sure, you want a program that works, but if you’re not even setting foot in the gym because the whole process is overwhelming, then any movement is better than none.
Purchase any equipment or gear you need
In order to set yourself up for success, make sure you have everything required to get where you want to be. When it comes to exercise, this means acquiring things such as the right athletic shoes and clothes, a gym membership if you need it, a BPA-free water bottle (because BPA found in some plastics can seep into your water, causing neurological, behavioral, and reproductive issues), and any other equipment or gear you need based on your exercise of choice. Having these items handy makes getting in shape easier. It also limits your excuses for not getting your workouts in.
Ask for help if you need it
Finally, if you’re really not sure how to create a personalized workout routine, remember that you can always seek the help of a personal trainer. Even if you don’t hire him or her for a certain number of sessions, most will set up a routine for you for a one-time cost, allowing you to have an individualized program that you can follow even when working out on your own.
Shelly Stinson is freelance writer based out of Denver, CO. Her interests include healthy living, being active outdoors and trying new restaurants. Find her on Twitter.