How to Create a Fitness Routine for Yourself + How to Stick to it
Can you believe summer is almost over? This summer season absolutely flew by. There’s something about fall in New England that I love. Maybe it’s because I’m a fall baby but, I love everything about fall - fall fashion, fall drinks (hot teas and drinks), apple picking but most of all the feeling of a new beginning. Maybe it’s from 18+ years of school but, there is something special about starting fresh- and September is the perfect time for that.
This blog post is all about creating your perfect fitness routine and some key tips on how to stick with it. As an instructor who gives advice about this all the time, I have a few tips and tricks that will help you stick with it. I am constantly fighting to find my perfect routine. For me, my routine is very dependent on my goals - am I marathon training? building muscle? defining? A lot of this post is inspired by the post by The Skinny Confidential called “How to Create a Compelling Future by Design.” I highly suggest visiting this page and downloading the free printable. It’s a great way to organize your thoughts and to get you to create concrete steps for yourself.
Find Your Why & Assess Where You Are Now
My first tip is all about finding your why. Your perfect routine will stem from your goals and why you are working out at all. No judgement at all but, spend some serious time thinking about why you workout or why you want to start working out. Really search yourself and be truthful about your why. It is totally okay to want to workout just to look good. Just know that some why’s will sustain you long term and some will sustain you for the short term. Try to approach your health journey from a long term, sustainable perspective.
Next, figure out where you are now. What is your current workout routine? What exactly do you want to change in that? Write down exactly what you do day to day (be specific - I promise it helps). Write down what you want to see change and why. If you’re using TSC’s printable, write that under the first, most upper left box.
Where Do You Want To Be?
Now, figure out where you want to be. This is usually aligned with your goals - do you want to be lighter? more energetic? sleep better? more flexible? Detail what that lifestyle would look like. Specifically write how you feel in your body and what that routine and life could look like. Again, be specific.
How Do I Get There?
Now, write down ACTIONABLE AND SPECIFIC steps on how to get to where you want to be. What is the step by step process you need to do to accomplish your goals? If you’re unsure, contact a professional. I’m happy to chat with anyone who has specific questions about how to progress in their health journey. Think about using a personal trainer, nutritionist, or even participating in group classes to help motivate you. Depending on your goals, your how will look different. Even just how your “ideal body” would look. Want long, lean lines? Try a mix of strength training, Pilates and cardio. Want more muscle definition? Stick to lifting heavy. Want to be more flexible? Incorporate Yoga and Stretching classes.
Here’s an example of a workout routine I hear pretty often that might make it a little more clear.
“My workout routine is that I workout 1-2x a week. I go to the gym and do 20 minutes of cardio on the elliptical or treadmill. Afterwards, I do the same abdominal circuit on the gym mats and some light weights using the dumbbells. I vary what I work on with the dumbbells- usually between my arms (shoulders, biceps, triceps, back) and legs (lunges, squats, shoulder bridges). I also try to walk 10k steps but usually only hit 7k. I sit a lot at work so, I have a hard time getting all my steps in. I eat out for lunch and dinner a lot because I am so busy at work. My WHY is that I want to feel more confident in my own body and want to feel strong.
I am looking to lose 10-15 pounds, tone up my body, and to feel more energy during the day.
I would like to change this by working out more and hitting 10k steps a day. Additionally, I’d like to start cooking more and eat 4 lunches and dinners at home a week. I will start meal planning and grocery shopping on Sundays so I am prepared for the week. I will create a list of recipes I want to make or know how to make that are healthy and fresh. I am going to start by hiring a personal trainer and working out with them 2x a week. On top of that, I will workout at home or at a gym for 45 min - 55 min with the Nike Training App (or the Tone It Up App - or Christie’s videos ;) ) 3x a week - for a total of 5 workouts a week. During work, I will actively schedule in walk breaks so I can give my body a chance to move. I will take the stairs instead of the escalator and park farther away from entrances. Lastly, I want to cut down my caffeine intake and will drink only green tea after 12p.
Now that we’ve talked about figuring out your goals and how to get there, how do you fit it all in? I know it seems overwhelming - it’s a lot to address your goals all at once. Try to break it down - adding in a new healthy habit every few weeks or month. My last tip is SO important to me and I know it’ll be a great help for you too!
Schedule it out
My best tip to fitting it all in is to use your calendar religiously. I have a color coded Google Calendar for everything. I plan out my workouts on Sunday and place them into my cal. Every night, I add in to do list tasks and errands into my account. I use the following color system…
Dark Pink: Errands/To Do
Lavender, Salmon, Green: Pilates Sessions to Teach (all different based on location)
Orange: Marketing/Biz Stuff
Now from here, you can place in when you’re going to do things. Now, I know we are all struggling to find more time in the day BUT, in this day and age we honestly don’t have a lot of excuses for not having a fitness routine that can meet our goals. Between technology and all the services available in this industry - you can do it. It’s about focusing and committing to your routine. Invest time and money in your health - and you’ll see results. Don’t have time to grocery shop? Amazon Prime or Instacart. Don’t have time to cook? Buy from Meal Prep services like Sakara or Tru Provisions. Don’t have time to go to the gym? Do at home workouts using an App or just free workouts on Youtube. Don’t know what to do at the gym? Take a class or hire a trainer.
Now, here’s an example of my workout routine - which is all in BLUE in my Google Calendar if I need to look back. Right now, I am marathon training. My fitness goal is to stay healthy and to run a certain time at my next marathon. I also like to stay on top of my personal Pilates practice and always be learning for my job.
Sunday: 20 mile run @ 9:15 pace
Monday: Weight lifting/Bodyweight exercises for 2 hours (at fitness photoshoot)
Tuesday: 6 mile easy run @ 9:30 pace, 30 min weightlifting and stability workout
Wednesday: 6 mile easy run @ 9:40 pace, 1 hour Pilates private, 30 minute at home mat workout
Thursday: 7 mile track workout, 1 hour Pilates private
Friday: 6 mile easy run
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: 20 mile run
Now, if you’re looking for any at home workouts to do, consider checking out my free workouts on Youtube.