Plan your exercise to become a habitPlanning your exercise routine in advance is a really good way to help create an exercise habit and ensure you keep motivated and constantly vary your exercise regime so...
a) you don't get bored and
b) ensure you are working all the different systems in your body and getting the best overall result.
I like to do this by filling in an exercise plan. I put it on my fridge and/or on my front door for when I leave the house so I am constantly reminded of my goals.
I wanted to share my plan template with you, it has some added extras which I hope will help you to keep motivated. But before you rush to download and print it off, read the points below to get the best out of it :)
1) You need to allocate each day to one or more exercise types. This ensures that when you look at your overall week that you have varied things properly. I have included a category for "Your time". This ensures that you have time in your week to reflect on your week and how it's going and ensure that you are doing the small things you need to to keep on track. I like to take this time on a Saturday morning as Sunday can sometimes be too late to take control back before the new week. I also like to do this after yoga (my choice within category D) as I feel calm and centred and ready to take on the world!
2) Each day has an area where you can write what little thing you can do to help you keel motivated. Things like - invite a friend to join so you can't back out, prepare your fitness clothing the night before so when you wake up you don't have to think, arrange with your partner to watch the kids beforehand, go to a gym class so you are forced to exercise for a set period of time etc
3) Each day has an area for you to tick when you have achieved your days goals (this is the square with the little Female For Life lady in it). The small act of putting that tick is a physical reminder for you to be proud of your achievements for the day / week and will give you an extra boost to keep you going. Sometimes the most exciting thing when you come home is to tick that box, especially if you are about to open the fridge door :)
4) Print a few out at a time to prepare for at least a fortnight ahead. This will give you time to make any necessary arrangements and also make you keep looking ahead. It takes at least 3 weeks to begin forming a habit so you want to to fill out at least 3 weeks in advance and use your "you time" to fill in the extra week to ensure you always have 3 weeks planned ahead!
* Take it slow in the beginning. Habits can be like building blocks so if you are getting back into exercise after a long break, take it slow setting small goals you know you can achieve, once you start ticking those boxes the momentum will start to build
* Find an exercise buddy. Having someone to join you is great to keep motivated. It's also good to have a small amount of competition to push you that little bit further :)
* Always remember to reward yourself with behaviour that embeds what you have accomplished to date. Things like treating yourself to new gym wear, get something fun like double trouble for those days when you are feeling motivated and more simple styles like graceful legs for when energy and motivation are low.
Hopefully this will help me as much as it helps you :)
The exercise plan can be downloaded and printed here: Fitness Exercise Plan.pdf
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