1. Get clear on what you really want to achieve with exercise and activity
What does ‘fitness’ mean to you and why does it matter? Thinking, ‘I need to be fitter’ might spur you into action. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt (because you've taken time to prove it to yourself) that regular activity leaves you feeling more energetic, more effective, happier and more confident, will guarantee that you make the effort to plan and execute your exercise schedule.
2. Establish precisely what the right activity schedule is for you
What will you do each day? What will you do each week? How much time do you want to dedicate to activity each day/week? How does your activity routine change throughout the year?
3. Build activity into your daily life
The UK Government recommends 30-minutes a day, 5 days a week. They also suggest 10,000 steps a day. These are great guidelines and can be adapted to suit your schedule. You might not achieve 10,000 steps each day but if you manage 6000 steps a day plus 2-3 workouts per week, you’ll be on track.
4. Make exercise fun
Find activities you enjoy and look forward to and create positive associations in your mind around these activities. Going running or swimming can give you time to yourself to think and de-stress. Attending classes, clubs or team activities can become a fun social activity rather than feeling like a tough workout.
5. Measure success
Keeping track of your exercise will give you a positive frame of mind as you gather hard evidence that you are working out regularly (and reaping the rewards). It will also enable you to examine the activities in your schedule in relation to the results you want to achieve meaning that you can make targeted, manageable and effective changes to your routine when necessary.
6. Plan for all eventualities
For each week ahead think about your blue sky plan for fitness and also establish the minimum acceptable activity plan that would mean that, even in the most chaotic circumstances, you’d still get to the end of the week feeling as though you hadn’t completely blown it on the exercise front.
7. Quick plan
Keep each week simple and flex your approach when necessary. Create your own version of the plan below and review it weekly and monthly. Make changes based on speed of results, life events or preferred exercise options through the year.
· Good posture
· Desk break every 90-minutes
· Average 8000 steps / day
Weekdays: weekly / monthly
· Morning gym x 1 per week
· Run and park workout x 1 per week
· Evening walk x 2 per week
· Family walk / activity
· Average 15,000 steps
Weekends: weekly / monthly
· Swim x 2 per month
· Yoga x 2 per month