Keeping a Training Diary
Starting a fitness programme can be daunting and the best place to start is by creating a training plan. Without this, you have no idea where you are going and how you are going to get there. A plan helps you to look at where you are currently so you can prioritise your fitness goals. The plan can be used as a tool to monitor how you are getting on. It will help you plan changes and recognise what works and doesn’t work for you.
Changing our behaviour is challenging and by using goals setting and monitoring you will be more likely to achieve success and stay on track. The plan can be designed by yourself, a Weightplan workout plan, or you may want to use a fitness instructor to design an individualised exercise plan to suit you.
- Define where you are at the moment; take some measurements such as weight, height and BMI, blood pressure, waist and hip circumferences, simple fitness measurements if you are working with an instructor. You should always check with your doctor before you start your fitness programme.
- View your fitness plan as a series of gradual steps or goals. Be realistic on time frames to achieve each of your goals. Don’t push yourself too quickly as you may find the plan is too difficult to maintain and you give up altogether.
- Goal setting – be realistic, if it is a weight goal you will need a short and long term goal. Think about what you are trying to achieve. These goals will help to motivate you and help you evaluate your progress. Are you trying to get aerobically fitter? Do you want to become more flexible? Are you looking to gain muscle? Be specific you can come back and update these goals as you progress.
- Decide if you have the budget for a gym membership, or if not have a look at other options like joining a cycling, or running club. Or just invest in a pair of running shoes and some fitness equipment and go out and ‘do it yourself’.
- Do what you enjoy, don’t choose activities that you hate as you will become bored and de-motivated. If you hate the gym then incorporate outdoor based exercises like running, or cycling instead.
- Try to make sure that you mix up the activities to stop you getting bored with the same fitness routine. Try one day to run, then maybe bike to work the next day, do a yoga class, then strength session. This will help work different parts of the body and different elements of your fitness; aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, balance and strength.
- Try and find a fitness buddy that will come along to the gym or play sports that you enjoy. This will help to keep your motivated, even if it’s for only one session per week it’s good to have company.
- Once you have the fitness plan in place just get on and do it. Start slow and build up your fitness gradually remember ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Remind yourself that you are working towards a fitter, healthier, happier you.