5 Keys to a Successful Home Workout Program
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5 Keys to a Successful Home Workout Program

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Beginning an exercise program can be hard for some people. You have to feel sure rewards will follow. Talk with people who exercise regularly. Ask them what benefits they have noticed as a result of being physically active.

Their answers may inspire you to begin an exercise program that includes more than just daily lifestyle activities.

Researchers have identified some factors that help people stick with their exercise programs. These factors include written goals, enjoyable activities, a convenient exercise schedule, and knowledge of personal fitness levels. Consider these factors as you plan a program for yourself.

Put Fitness Goals in Writing

Your physical fitness efforts are most likely to be effective if you set some specific goals for them. Your long-term goal may be to achieve and maintain total fitness. For most people, however, trying to fulfill such a big goal would be overwhelming. You need to break this goal down into smaller, more manageable goals.

Begin by identifying which component of fitness you want to improve first. Then think about activities that can help you improve in that area.

Choose those activities that are of interest to you. Make a specific plan to include those activities in your weekly routine.

Write Down Your Fitness Goals

One way to stay focused in your exercise program is to write down your fitness goals. Start with one specific and attainable goal. Your goal might be “I will improve my cardio-vascular fitness until my pulse drops to 100 beats per minute following a three-minute step-test”. Then list specific steps for achieving your goal. You might write” I will bicycle for 30 minutes after work on Monday and Thursday.

I will skate for 30 minutes after school on Tuesday and Friday.” You might want to write your goal and the steps for achieving it as a personal exercise contract. Post a copy of the contract in a spot where you will see it several times a day.

Your chances for success are much better if you write down what you accomplish. Keep a record of when you exercise and how long. You will be less likely to skip an exercise session if you know it will show up on your record. You will feel good about yourself when you see how faithfully you are following your exercise contract. Be sure to praise yourself for your success.

Celebrate Small Wins

Fitness goals take time to achieve. However, you should see some signs of improvement within a few weeks. If you have been following your contract and do not see improvement, evaluate your exercise plan carefully. You may need to revise the steps you are using to reach your goal. You may also want to consider seeing a fitness counselor. When you achieve your goal, congratulate yourself on a job well done. Then set a new goal and begin working toward it.

Choose Activities You Enjoy

Physical activity should be fun, not a chore. If you choose activities you enjoy, will be more likely to stick with your exercise program. You may enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing. Perhaps you like the competition of team sports. Maybe you prefer sports, such as tennis or handball, that you can play with a friend. No matter what activity you choose, the important point is to be active.

Variety can help keep an exercise program enjoyable. You may become bored following the same exercise routine day after day. Doing different types of activities can keep you from getting into a rut.

Personal Exercise Contract

Different activities help different components of fitness. This will, help you reach your long-term goal of achieving a good level of total fitness. If yiu enjoy anaerobic activities, try to include some aerobic activities in your exercise program, too. Also remember to choose activities that focus on different large muscles groups. For instance, you might try rowing to develop upper body strength and jogging to build leg muscles.

Although your exercise program should meet your personal needs, you do not have to exercise alone. Working out with friends or family members can make a fitness program more fun. Doing activities with other people can also help you stay motivated. On a day when you are tempted to cancel your workout, a friend can encourage you to get going.

Choose a Convenient Time

Scheduling phsyical activity at a convinient time will increase your likelihood of following through with your exercise program. You may want to work out first thing in the morning to get your day off to a good start. You might have some free time after work when you can enjoy activities with friends. Perhaps you would rather exercise at night before going to bed. It does not matter when you do exercise as long as you do it.

Once you find an exercise time that is convenient for you, make it a set part of your daily schedule. This will help you form a habit that is easy to follow.

Know Your Fitness Level

For your exercise program to be successful, you need to know your fitness level In striving to meet your goal for total fitness, resist the temptation to begin working out too hard too soon. This increases your risk of fatigue and injury and, thereby, increases your likelihood of discontinuing your fitness program.

Before you begin an exercise program, measure your level of fitness in each of the health components. You can even ask a fitness counselor or health or physical education teacher for information about self-assessment exercises.
If you are in good health, you can begin a sensible exercise plan.

Gaining physical fitness is a building process. It involves three key factors: frequency, intensity, and duration. Frequency is how often you exercise. Intensity is how hard you exercise. Duration refers to how long an exercise session lasts.

Begin your exercise program with moderate frequency, low intensity, and short duration. You might start by exercising three times a week. Keep your pulse at about 60 percent of your maximum heart rate for 20 minutes. As you notice improvements in your state of fitness, gradually increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of your exercise. Compete with yourself to achieve new, higher – level goals.

Try increasing your frequency to five to seven days per week. Build your intensity up to 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Extend the duration of your workouts up to 60 minutes.

Being aware of your fitness level can protect you from injuries caused by too much stress on your body. Exercise should not be painful. You need to learn to in into what your body tells you. Burning muscles and feel as if you cannot catch your breath are signs you are working too hard. These symptoms may occur more rapidly as you increase your speed, exercise in the heat or high humidity, or grow tired. If you experience these symptoms, you need to slow down your exercise pace.

Take Necessary Precaution

Following basic safety precautions can help you avoid other types of injuries when exercising. Know how to use equipment and use it correctly. Wear protective gear, such as helmets, and body pads, when appropriate. If you will be exercising outdoors, be prepared for the environmental conditions. If you are injured, follow first aid practices and seek prompt medical attention if necessary.

Wrap up

We may be stuck in our homes for the time being, but we don’t have to let that stop us from improving ourselves.  These are times when our character is tested.  I know that you are up for the challenge.  Keep working hard, keep improving, and I will see you on the other side!  I can’t wait to hear all about the progress that each of you has made.  Do it for yourself.  I’m rooting for you all.

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