Tips That Will Help You Create Your Own Workout Schedule

Victoria Moorhouse
GlobalStock / Getty Images

GlobalStock / Getty Images

We set schedules for ourselves all the time—plotting in events and keeping appointments on the calendar is one way to ensure we get things done, cross them off our to-do list, and incorporate them in our lifestyle. If the thought of fitness is on the brain for 2015, establishing a workout schedule for yourself is a tool that could help you not only reach your goals, but make exercising a healthy habit that you look forward to that jump-starts your day. Interested in creating one for yourself? Take a look at these expert tips below and get started today.

Assess Your Goals
Someone who is looking to shed that last 5lbs could very well have a different workout schedule than someone who has just set a general New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. The first step in even beginning to map out your workout schedule is to take a step back and figure out what you want from the action. “The first thing in establishing a workout schedule for someone with  a busy lifestyle is to determine what their realistic goals are, how much time they are able to commit to working out, and how soon they want to realize these goals,” explains Fitness and Wellness expert David Kirsch. It’s easy to understand that this schedule (and the time frame it’s in) could vary depending on what your goals are and how much free time you have at hand to hit up the gym in order to actually hit those goals.

Take a Look at Your Lifestyle
You know what you want to achieve over the next year? There are a few more factors you need to take into consideration before you claim that schedule as your own. Kirsch says that age, level of fitness, working out alone as opposed to with friend or trainer, training at home or in a gym, and any preexisting conditions and injuries ALL come into play when you’re making this health and exercise move. When you like to workout comes into play here, too. If you’re an early bird who loves the AM, try a morning fitness class or a run. Total night owls might want to stick to PM workouts and hit that alarm clock one more time when they wake up.

MORE: Want Great Abs? Try These Tips

So How Many Days Should You Workout?
While this answer does depend on the above, there is a standard you can use to shape your schedule. Kirsch says that ideally, one should aim to workout 3-4 times a week.

Switch Up Your Cardio
Sick of that morning jog as your only form of cardio? Switching it up might be a good idea. “I would change up the cardio to keep it interesting and highly effective,” says Kirsch who also notes that on average, one should aim to incorporate three days of cardio in their schedule. Again, he explains that this might vary on the overall goal. Wondering if you should go ahead and book that spinning class? Hey, why not?

Incorporate Strength and Toning Training Into Your Workouts
Make sure you’re rounding out your workouts with dynamic exercises that target your strength, too. “I think all of the workouts you do should combine strength and toning exercises. I think boxing classes are highly effective, and I like rowing boot camps as well,” Kirsch advises.

Stretch. Just Do It
Stretching isn’t one of those things you only do when you take that once-a-month yoga class before brunch with your girlfriends. It should be a part of your daily (yes, that means every single day) life. “You should be doing stretching every day. Stretching can be done before and after your workouts as well as in the morning and later in the day,” says Kirsch. After sitting at your desk all day, this will be an activity you look forward to.

MORE: How to Get in Shape