The truth is, while my personality generally thrives on structure and a certain degree of regimentation, I do have a very short attention span. So every now and then, I find myself in desperate need to shake up my program and do something different.
But when it comes down to it, you will need to decide what type of structure will work best for you. Some people work best in groups, while others exercise more effectively alone. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Some people prefer the structured setting of a class or group setting. For these people, it is best to seek out a fitness routine that takes place in a formal setting such as a gym. There are also support groups available for those who need a little extra motivation.
Pursuing structured fitness has the advantage of:
- Having a reliable time and location, so they're easier to plan around
- Having a social atmosphere
- Adding a healthy amount of peer pressure to participate
- Self-Starter Fitness
For many people, a self-directed fitness program is the best option, although in order for this method to be successful, it is imperative to create a plan that you can stick to. That means setting up a regular fitness schedule and planning your daily routine accordingly. You also need to know what you're doing or at least know what works for your body if you choose this type of regime (or lack of regime I guess).
- This type of fitness has the following advantages:
- Added flexibility as to the time and place.
- The ability to try different types of exercises.
Of course we all want, and even expect, our exercise programs to deliver. The problem is most people don't take a close look what they really expect to gain and how much time and energy they can devote to achieving it. Here are a few quick tips to keep ion mind when trying to form a routine, jazz up an old routine or to simply start from scratch and head in a totally new direction.
The first decision you'll have to make is how much time you are willing or able to devote to your program. The time factor involves two separate elements, how many days a week you can train and how much time you can devote to each workout. Ideally, you'll be able to alternate strength- and aerobic-training sessions, which might require four or five days a week. If you can only squeeze in three days a week, you might opt for a program that combines the two workouts. Be flexible and make your schedule work for you.
You've also got to ask yourself certain questions about what you expect to get from your exercise program. Are you more interested in improving health or looking better? Do you want to trim down and lose fat, or bulk up and gain muscle? The answers to these questions will decide what type of training you'll do most often and exactly how you'll train within each session.
Certain Basic Rules Apply
Do more aerobic and less strength training for fat loss and cardio health.
If lifting weights:
Use a light resistance and high repetitions (more than 15) to increase endurance and muscle tone.
Use a heavy resistance and low repetitions (less than eight) to increase strength and muscle mass.
A moderate resistance that allows you to complete 8 to 15 reps is ideal as it accomplishes a little of both endurance and strength gains.
Taking the time to structure your program to meet your individual needs and time restraints will get results.
Remember finding a way to squeeze in three to five 30-minute sessions a week, while adjusting the type of training you do to deliver the results you want, will keep you on the path to weight loss, muscle tone, or any other goals you might have set for yourself.
So figure out who you are and get to it! If you mess up - you get to figure it out again!!