• Nutrition

Fitting in Fitness

Planning Makes Perfect

Here's the challenge of the day: Write down your fitness plan. Get it on paper and see if your plan is taking you where you want to go. If not, change it. Here are some core questions to help you structure your personal fitness plan:

1. Do you prefer to exercise alone, with a partner, or in a group setting?

Some people want to focus and find conversation distracting. Others enjoy the company and accountability of a workout partner. Still others need a class leader or an organised sport to hold their interest.

2. Would you like to learn a new skill (or sport) or expand your current fitness routine?

Consider signing up for a class or holding a session with a personal trainer. While meeting regularly with a trainer can be expensive (and a scheduling headache), a single session at the start will provide you with expert help defining a routine you can practice on your own.

3. Are you more likely to keep a fitness date in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening? What about weekends?

If your schedule has you squeezed for time, you may have to go outside your comfort zone. Some people find that by working out first thing in the morning, they can ensure the demands of the day won't crowd out time for fitness.

4. How often would you like to exercise per week?

Be intentional about how often and how intensely you exercise. It's a good idea to set specific days of the week and stick to them. That way you know in advance whether or not you're going to work out that day.

5. Are you more of a cardio-training person (biking, walking, swimming, etc.) or a strength-training person (weights, etc.)?

Many people prefer to alternate days and do both during a week. Strength training can incorporate much more than lifting weights. It adds resistance to any of your favorite activities. Here's a fun way to look at it: Walking the length of the shopping centre is cardio training; carrying a load of bags out of the mall is strength training.

6. Do you have a specific goal? Or is your fitness plan to help maintain general health and for the good, clean fun of it?

If you have a goal in mind, by all means write it down. Keep it in front of you. When you meet it, celebrate. Between goals, seek out activities and exercises you find enjoyable.

By planning for fitness, you're more likely to do activities that will keep your body healthy, and you'll have fun. The next time you catch a sunrise on a neighbourhood jog, you'll hardly even notice you're exercising. That's the plan.