The best fitness program is the one you love. Yes, you read that right. There’s no magic exercise plan that gets the award for being the best fitness plan. Instead, planning what works for you means figuring out what you like.
According to Harvard Medical School, one of the best ways to stay motivated and successful is to customize your workout plan. That includes activities that fit your lifestyle and that you enjoy.
A good exercise program will help you get fit and healthy and can help you lose weight. But your perfect program is likely going to look different from someone else’s.
So what makes the best one? Keep reading to find out what elements your plan needs so that you can reach your health and fitness goals.
What Belongs in a Fitness Program?
Before you can determine which fitness program is the best for you, you should know what elements to include.
Five key things that belong in any workout plan. They include strength training, aerobic fitness, balance training, core exercises, and flexibility or stretching.
Aerobic activities are those that get your heart rate going. Often referred to as cardio exercise, this can be running, walking, biking, swimming, dancing, or using an exercise machine at the gym.
Most healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, or 30 minutes on most days.
Strength training increases bone and muscle strength. Train each muscle group at least twice per week. This can be achieved using free weights, weight machines at the gym, resistance bands, or kettlebells.
Core exercises are important for your back, stomach, and pelvis. They promote good balance and allow you to engage in other kinds of exercise. Work your core at least twice per week as part of your strength training routine.
As you age, balance tends to deteriorate. Balance exercises help keep it healthy. This can be something as simple as standing on one leg. It might also be more organized, such as during yoga or tai chi.
Finally, stretching exercises improve flexibility, which makes everyday activities easier. They can also make other forms of exercise easier. You should stretch anytime you exercise for the best results.
What Are Your Goals?
If you’re wondering how to find a weight loss plan, your first step should always be to assess your goals. Perhaps it’s to lose weight, but maybe you want to get stronger or build bigger muscles.
Specific goals are typically more attainable. So instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” get into it a bit more. “I want to lose 25 pounds,” is more concrete and allows you to get specific with how you’re going to get to that goal.
The trick when setting goals is to be realistic. Losing 25 pounds in 3 months is much more doable than losing 25 pounds in three weeks. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure, which can derail your healthy exercise plan.
Find Something You Love
One of the best fitness strategies you’ll find is to choose an exercise you enjoy doing. Why? Because when you are having fun, you’re more likely to stick with it.
On the other hand, if you force yourself to do something you hate, chances are you’re going to give up before you reach your fitness and weight loss goals.
There are so many great ways to get in a good workout. You should never be restricted to an activity you don’t enjoy doing. Experiment with different forms of exercise to find what you love best. Then use it to make your fitness program.
Ideas for a Home Workout
All of this information is handy to have, but you might still be wondering how to find a fitness program that works. Fortunately, there are a huge number of options to choose from.
If you prefer to work out at home, consider buying a few free weights in different sizes, a kettlebell or two, some resistance bands, and an exercise ball. This gives you the tools for a great workout without leaving the house.
Walking is one of the best forms of cardio you’ll find outside the gym. Incorporate intervals for effective weight loss. That means walking at a steady pace for 90 seconds, then going as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
Alternate back and forth to boost your calorie burn and get your heart rate going. Combine biceps curls, squats, crunches, triceps dips, push-ups, lunges, and sit-ups for a well-rounded beginner program at home.
You can also tune in to channels like YouTube to find formal workouts you can follow along to at home. Try yoga, Pilates, or a kettlebell program to burn calories and work your muscles at the same time.
Still stumped as to how to create the perfect exercise program? Hiring a personal trainer is an easy way to learn the basics of how to put together a routine that works for you.
He or she can design a set of strength training moves, combined with effective cardio that will help you reach your goals. If you’re new to exercise or have certain health conditions, this can be a great way to get on track.
At the same time, you should have a support system that has your back. This could include your personal trainer, but might also be a spouse, co-worker, or close friend.
These individuals can cheer for your success, but can also help keep you accountable for sticking with the fitness program you choose. You might also consider joining a fitness group in your area that has similar goals.
Your Perfect Fitness Plan
As you can see, the fitness program that’s best for you is not going to be the same as anyone else’s. A customized plan is the best option for success. And of course, it should be combined with a healthy eating plan for the best results.