Create your own exercise routine

Let’s be honest – it’s not always easy to get the motivation to exercise, and even harder to keep it up. Check out some tips to help you create a personalised routine and some ways to get you in the right frame of mind. If it’s all a bit overwhelming there are steps you can take.

You might need this if:

  • You struggle to find motivation to exercise
  • You’re often tired or moody
  • You feel unhealthy
boy running with baton

How to create an exercise routine 

The first thing to keep in mind is that in order for something to become ‘routine’, you need to stick at it. Once you’ve set up a system for when/how/where you’re going to exercise – keep at it, even if you reaaaaaaaally don’t feel like it. It’ll get easier over time and eventually become a habit that you don’t even need to think about.

There are a few things you need to consider when you’re setting up your exercise routine that will shape the kinds of exercise you end up doing:

  • Activities – Try to mix up your routine to include all strength (weights), flexibility (things like yoga and pilates) and aerobic (things like running, walking, cycling) based exercise. If you find independent exercise boring, a simple Google search should return some results about the sports teams that exist in your area. After all, the more you enjoy your exercise, the more likely you are to stick at it. Check out more info about the different kinds of exercise.

  • Time – how much time can you devote to it? Decide on specific times that you can exercise, whether it’s an hour at 6pm everyday, or 20 minutes every Monday and Thursday – it’s your call. 

  • Place – do you have access to gyms, parks or ovals where you can do your exercise? Many parks have outdoor gym sets that you can use for free. The place you decide on will influence the kind of exercise that you’re able to do. 

  • Budget – are you able to pay for a gym membership? Or do you need to get creative about the exercise you do? There are plenty of ways to exercise regularly without paying for a membership (like running, cycling, dancing, swimming) however some people enjoy the social aspect of exercising at the gym. 
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should be able to whip up a schedule for your weekly exercise. The most important thing is to just get started - if you find there’s something that’s not working, you can always make adjustments down the track.

Change your approach

In order to maintain regular exercise, you need to be in the right headspace…which isn’t going to happen if you see exercise as dull or painful.  The human body can do amazing things, and every one of us should know how it feels to have it running at it’s optimum potential.

Here are some attitude-changing tips:

  • Be realistic about progress. You can’t start competitive weightlifting after a few reps of a dumbbell. As your body develops, you’ll be able to handle more and more, and if you push yourself too hard too early, you could do permanent damage.

  • Keep a diary of your daily activities and note down your idle time. You probably have more spare time than you thought. 

  • Break your sessions up into two fifteen minute blocks. Or try thirty minutes every second day. 

  • Work exercise into your daily travel routine.

  • Make it fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, it can involve any kind of physical activity. Think back to activities you enjoyed as a child. Did you like riding your bike, skating, or mucking around with mates? Revisit these activities, as you’ll probably still love them. 

  • Mix it up. There’s an endless amount of choice when it comes to exercise. Vary your activities to keep it interesting. 

Exhausted and Overwhelmed?

If you accompany your exercise with better eating habits and consistent sleeping patterns, you’ll probably have a super energy level boost. But if you do all that and you still feel exhausted or overwhelmed, maybe something else is zapping your energy and drive. Why not check out the Something’s not right section and see if there’s something stopping you from becoming active.

What can I do now?

  • Make it fun, exercise shouldn’t be torture.
  • Try getting out and about with friends.
  • Avoid putting pressure on yourself, start by setting small goals.
Last reviewed: 26 August, 2015
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