Choosing the best workout plan for you is the first step in actually following through with fitness and exercise. There are quite a few things that you should consider before you settle on a plan or program. Here are 5 questions you can use to help evaluate what kind of program you should choose for yourself.
1. What kind of exercise do you prefer?
If running on a treadmill is really not your thing, then by all means – find something else! However, just because you despise running on a treadmill doesn’t mean you dislike all exercise. Maybe you like to go hiking, play tennis, do a cardio dance workout, or even go on a fast paced walk in your neighborhood. Think about what exercise you enjoy the most or makes you feel the best. Try to include this in your weekly plan and you are already one step ahead on choosing the best workout plan.
2. Where do you prefer to exercise?
Do you love the gym atmosphere and prefer to go to the gym? If you plan to workout at the gym consider finding one that is on your way home from work or very convenient to your daily schedule.
Don’t want to take the time or allocate the money needed for a gym membership? Home workouts are preferred and/or more practical for many people. You can buy some basic equipment and set up a small fitness area in your home very easily. You definitely don’t even need a special room for this! Many people use their garage, office space, or you can use body weight (think push ups, chin ups, and yoga) and simply do it in your living room. We use these boflex adjustable dumbbells at home and love them! If you combine the dumbbells with a stability ball or small bench, you’ll have everything you need for many of the most popular resistance training home programs on the market.
3. What method do you prefer for workout instruction?
Do you like fitness DVDs? Or would you rather fly solo with a printed plan? Maybe you enjoy a fitness class such as pilates, crossfit, or Zumba. And while a personal trainer may not be feasible for everyone, it might be good place to start if you are new to working out.
Remember, when choosing the best workout plan, it might depend on what type of exercise you are doing as to what method of instruction you prefer. For example, I get bored while following along with a DVD if I’m lifting weights, but this doesn’t mean I don’t like to lift weights. In fact, I love strength training. I just prefer to do it with a written plan! On the other hand, if I’m doing a really challenging cardio workout like Insanity, I don’t mind to follow along with the DVD.
4. How much time will you devote to workouts?
Before you pick a plan you need to consider how long you have devote to working out everyday. For example, if you have 30 minutes to devote per day, you don’t want to plan on a workout program that takes 1 hour each day to complete. This would likely be very overwhelming from the start and you might find yourself giving up too easily. If you aren’t sure, consider starting small and increasing the length of your workouts as you get comfortable with your schedule.
A second question you may ask yourself is, how many times per week can you fit in a workout? Is your work schedule hectic? Do you work late some nights? What about extracurricular activities for your kids? Consider the flow of your week and decide what is feasible for you. Ideally, we should be doing some form of exercise almost every day, but you can get results working out just two or three days per week if you are consistent and have a good plan in place.
5. When will you workout?
You will have to make it a priority and set a time to do it or it probably won’t happen. Pick a time of day to get your workout in and make it a habit. Will you workout first thing in the morning? Or maybe you aren’t a morning person (ahem, myself included) and prefer an evening workout. I usually plan to workout as soon as I get home from work, before I even cook dinner (or as my Instant Pot Chicken is cooking.)
Choosing the Best Workout Plan
Last, but not least, after you have chosen your plan, make a way to hold yourself accountable. You can keep a fitness journal, schedule it into your planner, or have an accountability partner. Whichever you choose, make sure that you are accountable to yourself (or a friend) for your workouts.
What factors do you consider when choosing the best workout plan? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!