How to Create a Health-Focused Workout Plan
A health-focused approach to fitness means creating a healthier lifestyle with you in mind. Instead of trying to reach a certain body weight or aesthetic appearance, the goal is to improve your overall health and well-being for yourself and your own benefit. This approach is about developing a healthy lifestyle to improve energy levels, improve your mood and how you feel about yourself.
Creating a health-focused workout plan involves creating a fitness schedule that includes physical and mental improvement. It should help you create healthy habits and motivation through fun fitness plans that fit into your schedule and that you look forward to doing instead of as a chore.
Because modern health and fitness approaches have been mainly focused on body shape or looking sexy, we have compiled a list of tips to help you develop your own, personal health-focused workout plan with ideas that we hope you find fun.
Your workout plan must fit into your busy schedule to make it easier to develop healthy habits. Many people are smart enough to know why they should exercise or get fit, but most cannot take action unless there is a way to make it easier, which makes sense since life is already filled with pressure.
Try habit stacking to incorporate a workout plan into your daily schedule. Science has proven that because of the way our brains work, creating a new habit, even a healthy one, will be most effective if you add it to a current daily habit or activity. First, choose something that you do every day, then add the new healthy habit.
- After I wake up in the morning, I will put on my gym shoes and go for a 15 minute walk or jog
- After lunch, I will put on my gym shoes and walk for 10 minutes
- As soon as I get home from work, I will change into workout clothes and exercise for 10 minutes
This works because your brain has already developed pathways for the daily habit, so it’s just a matter of adding another healthy habit to the current one and let your brain continue building. Of course, this only works if you follow through, so choose something you might enjoy.
Change Your Perspective
Quite often we associate healthy activities with an unhealthy attitude. This might be for numerous reasons including fitness gurus who have a body we believe we will never achieve until we exercise as hard as they do, or it could be an ingrained all-or-nothing attitude. But things don’t have to be black or white, try a little in between.
Instead of looking at exercise as a chore, choose to see the benefits. For example, a brisk morning walk doesn’t have to be fast and painful, it can be just enough to get you breathing heavier and take in more oxygen, which is invigorating and can be a great way to wake up. Exercise in the midday or evening can be a great stress reliever, while eating a healthy dinner will leave you feeling lighter and probably with more energy when you wake up. Find the benefits in a fitness schedule to help you change your perspective.
Create a Workout for Core Stability
Core stability means to strengthen your core muscles which include your abdomen, pelvis, hips and lower back. Core stability improves balance and coordination, but is also associated with greater self-esteem thanks to the inner strength that is developed, both physically and mentally.
Creating a workout for core stability can be done by simply adding a few sets of an exercise to your current exercise schedule. If you don’t yet exercise, try adding these onto the beginning or end of a walk, jog or swim. Some of these exercises include the plank, abdominal crunches or the bridge yoga pose.
Strength training is a great way to improve muscle and bone health as well as physical and mental strength. Benefits include decreased body fat, improvement in muscle shape and function and a reduced risk of injuries from everyday activities. Strength training improves heart health and helps you manage blood sugar levels, and it doesn’t even have to be done every day!
At least one study showed that women who participated in strength training just twice each week had an improved body image and more importantly, they began to enjoy exercise more than they previously did after 10 weeks. Another study with participants doing 8 weeks of strength training twice each week reported reduced anxiety at the end of the study.
Forget the Recommendations
Many of us are aware of the minimum recommendations for moderate exercise being 150 to 300 minutes each week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity. And while this may be good to know, it can also be a hindrance. For some, this is an indication that if you don’t put in enough time, there is no point to exercise at all. Thankfully, that’s not true.
Incorporating small periods of exercise into your workout plan, even just 10 minutes, has many benefits. While you may not end up with a physique for a bodybuilding competition, you will still enjoy the benefits of improved blood sugar control, improved cognitive function, improved strength and muscle quality and improved mood. So, if you don’t feel like moving, some exercise is better than none – and remember it’s only 10 minutes, using an app like Yes.Fit is easy and will keep you motivated.
Focus on Self-Care
No matter what workout plan you add to your daily fitness schedule, try to incorporate self-care with adequate sleep, stretching, nutrition and even a massage now and then. Your health is important and the healthier you are, the more available you will be to enjoy your family and friends.