Many exercise novices approach planning personal fitness workout strategies as if they were in the final stage of training for a professional athletic event. They obsessively try to maximize their workout, cramming in higher weights, faster speeds and more reps. Unfortunately, this approach yields burnout more often than results, overwhelming new exercisers before they can adapt to the demands of the exercises. A personal fitness workout strategy should be something you can live with and even enjoy.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Make an appointment with a doctor and get a thorough checkup. If you have not exercised regularly in a while, a checkup ensure you are healthy enough to handle the strains of working out.
Reflect on your current exercise experience. Note how often you exercise, how vigorously and for how long. List the exercises you really enjoy and the ones you don't.
Arrange your schedule to include time for your new exercise routine. A basic cardiovascular fitness routine will take you at least 30 to 40 minutes three times a week. If you want to do strength training on top of that, you are looking at about double the time.
Select and schedule activities you enjoy. Dancing, brisk walking, jogging, biking and anything else that gets your heart rate up counts as cardio. Ideally, you want to combine multiple activities. For example, you could take an aerobics classes at the gym on Monday, bike around your neighborhood on Wednesday and go hiking in the woods on Saturday.
Meet with a personal trainer at least twice. He will help you set goals and show you the proper way to exercise. A trainer is especially useful if you want to do weightlifting, since he can show you how to use the machines correctly.
Plan out individual workouts. Generally, you want to plan on stretching for two to five minutes before you begin, warming up by exercising at a relaxed pace for five to 10 minutes and exercising more vigorously for 10 minutes or more. After that, you should slow it down for another five minutes and do another set of stretches. If you are taking a class, you don't really have to worry about this; the instructor will lead you through stretching, warm-up, etc.
Try out your you new fitness workout, then make changes. If you find an activity is not to your liking, you can swap it for something else. If you want to work out for longer, add more time to your workout.
Tips & Warnings
Start at a sustainable pace and try to always move forward when you exercise. Lift a little more weight or do a few more reps in your strength training. Go a bit further or a bit faster with your cardio.