Although most of us are looking for ways to eat a bit healthier and lose some weight, actually starting a fitness program and committing to it is one of the biggest wellness challenges you will face as you begin your weight loss journey. Getting and staying active is not only one of the best ways to maintain weight loss, but it’s also one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
How to Design a Fitness Routine for Weight Loss
Designing a routine that will help you lose those pounds and maintain weight loss is relatively easy, especially if you consult with a doctor first.
Know where to start
Depending on your level of activity, you likely have at least an idea of how to fit you are. While you may find the thought of taking and recording baselines fitness scores for yourself may seem tedious, doing so is essential to maintaining weight loss for a lifetime.
Benchmark exercises to help you track your weight loss journey:
- Heart rate before and after walking one mile
- The time it takes you to walk one mile (Alternately, you can time how long it takes you to run one and a half miles)
- How many sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups you can do in a 90 second period.
- How far you can extend your fingers while seated on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you
- The measurement of your waist
- Your BMI calculation
How to Design Your First Fitness Program
Around 70% of people who resolve to begin a fitness program and maintain their weight loss fail. That means if you are truly committed to meeting your weight loss goals and maintaining your weight loss, you’ll need a plan that you can stick to. Keep these points in mind when designing your fitness routine:
Know your ‘why’ before designing your fitness plan
As with any goal, it’s important to inspect what is motivating your weight loss efforts. Why are you starting a fitness program? Do you want to lose weight? If so, how much? Are there any other factors motivating your journey? For example, are you preparing for a marathon or race? Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help you develop clear goals to help you stay motivated while also gauging your progress.
Balance is key
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, we should each be incorporating 150 minutes of mild aerobic activity or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic exercise each week. Ideally, your fitness routine will include a combination of both moderate and vigorous activity.
When designing your initial program, try to fit in around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on four to six days a week. Try to incorporate strength training of every major muscle group into your fitness routine at least two times a week, with at least one ‘rest’ day for each group.
Maintain weight loss best by going slow and steady
- Starting slow and keeping progress steady is particularly important if you are just beginning your fitness journey.
- Consult with a doctor before making major changes to your diet and fitness regime; this is especially important if you are recovering from an injury or are coping with a medical condition.
- ‘Book’ your workouts like you would make an appointment.
- Try clever ways of adding motion your favorite, more sedentary activities. For example, the next time you plan to watch your favorite show, try doing so while working out on an elliptical or while on a stationary bike.
- Incorporate walk during break time at work.
Plan a program that includes different activities
Variety is the spice of life and the name of success when it comes to designing a fitness program that can help you not only lose weight but maintain that weight loss as your journey progresses.
- Including different activities will help stave off boredom and, depending on the exercise, can even help protect you from overworking a particular group of muscles.
- Cross-train by including low impact exercises that get you out of the house and the gym like bicycling.
- Swimming and other water exercise are also great alternatives to running on a treadmill or staying in the weight room.
As you design your routine to include different activities, make sure you’re allowing time for your different muscle groups to recover. Don’t work out the same muscle group two days in a row. Although this may seem like common sense, most people start their workout routine with their resolve fresh in their minds; this extra zeal often results in committing to workouts that are too long or too intense.
PCN Pro Tip: Help stave off soreness by keeping your workouts reasonable and drinking a plant-based protein smoothie after your workout to help your muscles recover.
Commit to your new regime on paper
After you have designed a fitness program that fits your weight loss needs and goals, writing down your commitment and your benchmark timelines is an important final step. Writing your goals down will not only help you measure your progress, but it will also help you stay committed to your journey.
How to Maintain Weight Loss with Pure Charge Nutrition
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