How to Create an Exercise Routine You'll Stick to

Wellness

With everything going on around us and the world being threatened, it is very common to be stressed out and worried and being on lockdown makes it easier for us to make food our moral support. All these makes it super easy to just add on weight without even realizing it. And being in a situation where we can't hit the gym, it is important to do our best at home to maintain a healthy lifestyle and workout to avoid seeing the terrible effects of all the binge-eating. So without further ado, here are some steps on how to create your own at-home workout routine that you'll actually stick to.

1. Jot the Basics:

Before creating a workout routine, here are some questions you should answer accordingly:

. What are your goals? Are you working out to be healthier, stronger, more flexible, have more endurance or more speed. Do you want to lose weight or build muscle or both? Do you want to tone your legs, your abs, your arms, your back or your whole body in general?

. What types of exercise should you do to achieve these goals?

. How many reps per exercise should you be doing?

. How long should you do an exercise?

. What equipment will you need? (Will be applicable if you have a mini gym at home but if you don't, it's better you stick to home friendly exercises that do not require equipment). 

. How many days per week should you do these exercises?

. What time should you do these exercises?

. What should my diet be like (yes this is very important)?

2. Browse for exercises (or mini routines);

There are so many exercises on the internet. Some of them are simple while most have different variations bringing it to more than a thousand forms of body movement that you can do with or without equipment. When browsing for exercises to add to your routine, there are three factors to consider: 

a) Level of performance (beginner, intermediate or advanced):

if you're new to working out, it's advisable to stick to simple exercises that do not have complex variations.

b) Specific or targeted areas( What part of your body do you want to give the most attention to?) :

for example, if you're looking for a flatter stomach or toned abs, then crunches and planks are definitely something you'd want to add to your routine. Also, thinner thighs would mean a lot of leg circles, leg raises and lunges while building muscle in your legs require more of squats

c) Somanotype:

There are three types of people: Endomorph, Ectomorph, and Mesomorph. Endomorphs are people with bigger body mass, they are usually bulkier, Ectomorphs are people with smaller body mass (they are leaner), while Mesomorphs are people who are neither too big or small. They fit right in between endomorphs and ectomorphs and they're usually muscular in nature. Knowing which category you fall under will enable you to know the type of workouts you should be doing. For example, endomorphs usually require more cardio and HIIT(high-intensity interval training) to lose weight, while ectomorphs require a lot of weight lifting to build muscle. Endomorphs also require medium weight lifting with more reps in order to both burn maximum calories and build muscle as well as to tone up. On the other hand, ectomorphs require heavy weight lifting with fewer reps to build muscle much faster without burning so many calories since they're already lean.

3. Create the routine; 

After browsing and considering various exercises, it's time to actually put together your routine. It is probably the toughest step because it's about deciding which exercises you want to incorporate and what order they will be in. I suggest choosing the exercises that work best for you and the best way to know is to focus on the exercises that make you feel sore in the targeted areas but are not too difficult especially if you're new to working out. I highly recommend doing an exercise for at least forty seconds to know the level of difficulty. If you can reach a minimum of twenty seconds, you can definitely add that exercise, but if you don't, it's best to try out those that are less difficult for the time being.

Your workout routine should include both cardio, some HIIT and maybe some resistant training/ weight lifting depending on your goals. However, it must not be limited to these three alone. You may choose to add some yoga and meditation or other forms of cardio that you love such as swimming, cycling, walking, jump roping or even dancing. Remember your workout should be something you love doing so don't be too strict with it.

If you have a hard time putting together exercises or deciding which sequence your exercises should be in, it's ok to incorporate several mini routines on the internet into a big routine that suits you. For instance, you can begin your workout with a simple five-minute warmup routine on a yoga app, then do a workout from your favorite fitness YouTuber and finish with another five-minute cooldown and stretch workout from Instagram or Pinterest. 

There are also many mini routines on some fitness blogs or on Pinterest. You may decide to combine up to three or even more routines into a big one to meet your requirements. Whichever way you want, just have fun doing it and make sure you're happy with what you've created. 

Here are some workout plans to inspire you.

4. Test your routine; 

After creating your routine, it is important to test your routine to know if there are some changes that may be required. Doing your workout for the first few days is a very good idea. It will help you know the exercises you love doing and the ones that are too complex or do not engage the muscles you want. Your routine should neither be too hard or too easy. If it gets too easy after the first couple of days, then you may need to modify it. 

An ideal workout should take about three to four days before it starts getting better. 

5. Fix the necessary things:

When you have finished putting together your routine, you can write it out in a book or make a poster and put on your wall, door, bedside or any open place in your living space. Just make sure it is where it can easily be seen as this will serve as a daily reminder to do them. It is also appropriate to fix a specific time for your workout because not only will it make it easier to stick to, but it will also program your brain in a way that it'll always know when and where (if applicable) your workout should be done thus making it a habit and preferably a lifestyle. A lot of people will recommend fixing your workout routine in the morning so that you can get it done right away and not have to worry about doing it for the rest of the day or making up excuses later. However, if you have a really busy schedule, then you can do it whenever you have time.

6. Be disciplined: 

Be consistent, It would probably be a waste of time creating a workout routine if you didn't stick to it so try as much as you can to do your exercises regularly. Force yourself to get up every day to do them, it will definitely be hard at first, but set short them goals to stick to your routine for at least a week, then two weeks and a month and soon they will become a big part of your life that you'll find it hard to stop doing them.

And finally, be patient. You may not see the results in the first few days. For some people it may even take weeks before they start seeing results so give yourself a lot of time and then if your results are still unsatisfactory, then you may spice up things a little bit or change the routine. Remember, you may be closer to your goals than you realize, don't be too hard on yourself and don't give up!

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Ikwuegbu Ihuoma

A very creative Nigerian teenager who writes almost anything from essays and articles, poems, fictional works and even song lyrics. She loves music, selfies and all things intellectual. She also loves learning and meeting new people.


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