Creating your own fitness routine gives you the freedom to work on the areas you want to improve the most at your own pace. Whether you are trying to improve your overall fitness or want to better your swing on the golf course, there are factors to consider to help you create the ultimate workout.
Start with the basics. Decide how many days a week you will exercise and for how long. Be realistic and take into consideration your schedule and present overall fitness. Even if your ultimate goal is to exercise five times a week, you may need to start with only three days if you're too weak or too busy to work out more often.
Choose a place to work and prepare for it. If you plan on working out at a local gym, you will need a membership or pass. To exercise outdoors, scout the areas you want to use and see when they are least crowded. If you plan on working out at home, you will need to purchase some basic equipment, such as an exercise mat, dumbbells and maybe a resistance band or medicine ball. Fitness DVDs can be useful to learn techniques or to help you with motivation.
Look at magazines, books and online fitness sites to get an idea of what types of exercises you can do for different parts of the body. If there's a particular area you wish to work on (such as your upper body to better your golf swing), search for safe exercises that incorporate the latest research on the subject. For example, abdominal exercises should be done without pulling on the neck or putting pressure on the lower back. Learning proper form is essential for a safe workout and you can only do that through research.
Choose an aerobic activity you can do at least three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes without getting bored. You may need to mix outdoor activities such as jogging or biking with aerobic classes or indoor machines (treadmills and cross-trainers). Other activities, such as dancing and hiking, are also considered cardiovascular exercises and can provide variety to your training. Even golfing can be aerobic if you choose to walk between holes rather than using the cart.
Set up a resistance training routine. You can choose to work out with dumbbells on your own or take a conditioning class at the local gym. Body-resistance exercises, such as push-ups and squats, are also good for muscle training. Set aside at least two days a week for resistance training and make sure you incorporate both upper and lower body exercises.
Set up goals. A fitness program should aim to give you something, such as added flexibility, more strength or better resistance. Setting both short-term and long-term goals will help you get through the workouts on days in which you feel like quitting.