Setting clear and achievable exercise goals is important if you’re serious about your health. Maybe this is the first time you’ve done this kind of thing or maybe you’re getting back on the horse after a holiday or a major life event. Whatever the reason, creating an exercise plan for yourself and sharing it with those that need to know about it is a great first step in improving your health.
I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there that doesn’t want to be fit and healthy. It’s not always easy to make a commitment though, and that’s why will power and desire play an important role when people are starting out with an exercise plan and, more importantly, sticking to it. I also know that life and personal circumstances can get in the way of a routine, so when that happens, target a date of when you can start back exercising, and base your plan around that date.
6 weeks is a good time limit for a plan. It’s not too short so you should see some results, and it’s not too long that it’ll seem daunting from the outset. Plus, you should really be re-visiting and updating your exercise routine every 6 weeks anyhow, regardless of your level of fitness.
The Plan Itself
What should you include in your plan? I usually include something along the lines of the following in my very simple plans:
- Specific goal/s for the 6 week plan i.e.lose 5 lbs, run 10k in under 45 mins, bench press 80k
- Type of exercise i.e. weights routine / planned runs / class attendance etc
- Exercise schedule - when will you be exercising (i.e. Mon, Weds & Fri mornings at 7 am) and for how long (3 x 45 minute sessions).
I discussed Finding Time to exercise in my previous blog. The Exercise Schedule in the plan is where we put that time to paper. Just as important as creating your plan, is sharing it with your wife, husband, partner, boss or whoever else you need to buy into the plan. Having a clear schedule in place in advance is only fair and will allow for a more harmonious household. If you arrive in from work and make the surprise announcement that you’re heading to the gym when there’s kids screaming and no food in the house, it probably won’t go down too well. I usually hang my plan in plain sight on the fridge to avoid confusion!
For the office worker, it helps to let your manager know you have an exercise schedule that you plan on sticking to. This is particularly true if you exercise at lunch time. Ask for a little flexibility around lunch time meetings or deadlines. Maybe you’ll be arriving into the office a little later than usual after your workout on certain mornings. Once your plan is realistic and doesn’t impact your work performance then I’m sure your boss and colleagues will buy into your exercise schedule. Why not ask them to join you? A morning or lunch time walking or running group is a great way to improve health and increase team morale.
Companies everywhere are beginning to realise the benefits of a proper work life balance for their employees. A healthy employee is far more productive than a sick one. Healthy and positive employees can really influence the mood in an office setting. If your manager or company don’t believe in this, then send them straight to this blog!