Every person is different, which is why no single fitness plan works for everyone. Since every individual has a different goal, body type, and health condition, people need unique fitness plans designed to help them achieve optimal health. If you want to determine the best plan for you, consider your age, goals, diet, health, and activity interests.
Evaluate Your Fitness Level
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The first step in identifying the best fitness plan for you is to evaluate your current fitness level. While you probably have a general idea, recording a few baseline scores can help you establish goals and give you a way to measure your progress.
Some measurements you could track include the following:
- Blood pressure.
- Pulse rate before and after walking a mile.
- Waist circumference.
- Body mass index (BMI).
- How long it takes to run or walk a mile.
- How many situps and pushups you can do in a minute.
- How far you can reach while seated with your legs straight out in front of you.
Tracking measurements such as blood pressure, pulse, and BMI gives you a good picture of your overall health. For example, your BMI reflects the amount of fat you carry. While you shouldn't use it as a stand-alone measure of your physical well-being, your BMI can help you understand your unique health needs and is a good indicator of your general fitness level. After getting your baseline measurements, re-evaluate them once a month to check for progress.
Design Your Fitness Program
Next, design your fitness program around your likes and dislikes. If you enjoy the outdoors, look into running, hiking, and mountain biking. If you thrive in social settings, attend exercise classes and join a gym. If low-impact activities make you feel good, try yoga, swimming, and walking. Taking part in activities you enjoy is important for long-term success. However, continue to challenge yourself. While you should enjoy your fitness program, if it's too easy, you won't see much improvement.
Take Your Weaknesses Into Account
Acknowledge your weaknesses when you make your fitness plan. If you're not a morning person, don't resolve to go to the gym before work. If you love meat, don't embark on a vegetarian diet. Instead, use your weaknesses to your advantage. If you love to snack, find a meal plan that allows you to eat several small, healthy meals throughout the day. You'll increase your odds of success if you're honest with yourself and realistic about your perceived limitations.
Over time, you may find that what you thought were weaknesses have faded or developed into something else. For example, once you start exercising regularly, you may discover going to the gym is fun, and you'll start looking forward to getting up early to work out.
Physical activity can improve your overall health, help you lose weight, and lengthen your lifespan, so it's important to create a fitness plan that you'll follow. If you find exercises that you enjoy doing and foods you look forward to eating, you'll increase your likelihood of attaining optimal health and long-term success.