Understand your own fitness levelIn order to create a workout routine, you first need to know exactly what your body is capable of. If you’re not a strong runner then scheduling a 10 mile run into your routine isn’t going to be beneficial. To get an idea of your fitness levels, you can do a few easy tests:
- Check your standing heart rate and compare this to just after a long walk
- Make a note of how many reps of a particular exercise you can do
- Record how long it takes to run or walk a mile
- Measure your BMI.
Design your routineThink about what you want to achieve and what you can do to achieve it. Establish your personal goals and design a routine to work towards these. Design your routine to fit around your personal life. If training 5 days a week works for you then that’s great, but 3 days a week is also beneficial to see results. Aim for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. For strength training, this should be done at least twice a week for each major muscle group to see results. For example, you could integrate 12 - 15 reps of each exercise on a heavy weight into your routine. In terms of specific workout days, what body parts to work on what days is completely up to you. There is no one-size-fits-all, but typically leave at least two days between working on the same muscle group to avoid overdoing it and damaging your muscles. Start slow and work your way up. Don’t go into a new routine too hard as this could result in injury. Pace yourself and gradually build up the weight, reps, or distance when you’re ready. It is also important to plan different activities to avoid getting bored. Some people prefer to have a set routine every week but perhaps you could change it up a bit and try new things every now and then to keep it interesting. Try fitting in workout classes or trying a new exercise. Remember to monitor your progress to keep yourself on track!
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