The other day, I went on YouTube to find a workout to do for that day. Every once in a while, I'll do this to mix things up and possibly learn some fun, new exercises.
After entering "Full Body At-Home Workout" into the search bar, wow oh wow, the number of choices was endless. You could spend hours, not necessarily working out, but just figuring out which video would be best for you.
Now, thankfully, I have an extensive background in exercise physiology and exercise program design, so I'm usually pretty good about scanning the videos and figuring out which ones are best, but what if you don't have this background? How do you find the best workout plan for you?
That's actually a question I've received a lot from family and friends...
"Isabel, I really want to start exercising regularly... what is the best plan for me?"
Here is a quick run-through of questions I used just last week to help a good friend decide on the best workout plan for her:
- Where do you plan on exercising? Be realistic about this answer (well, be realistic about every answer). Sometimes we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations — like we're going to drive to the gym 4 days a week and spend an hour there. Well, after you add in the travel time, that could be anywhere from 1.5-2 hours of your day. If you have the time to do that and you love the gym, then of course that would be a great choice. But if that's not realistic for you right now, exercising at home is a wonderful option.
- How much time can you give to your workout? Do a thorough scan of your day. How much time can you peacefully give to doing a workout? I say peacefully because there have been times in my life when I would plan an hour workout, but that hour was totally anxiety-ridden because I knew I had so many other things I needed to do on that day and dedicating a full hour to the workout was more stressful than it was helpful. Looking back, I could have accomplished the same fitness goals with a 20- or 30-minute workout that was free of stress.
- What is your starting point right now? Are you currently coming off months of being sedentary? Or have you been consistently committed to an exercise routine for years? Those two scenarios require very different starting opints, and there is no shame in beginner status. Last year, I took a break from my usual exercise routine to spend time healing some pretty difficult health challenges I was facing. When I did go back to a routine, I spent a few weeks doing the beginnger workouts I would use with my clients when I was still personal training. I knew my body needed an effective reintroduction phase, and starting where I left off would have just put my body at risk of injury.
Those workouts I used are the same workouts I have included in my BodyFIT Foundations program. The program is designed to give you an exercise plan that will create the "foundation" for a strong and toned body, without putting you at risk for injury.
If you've been away from exercising for some time and want to get back to it in a safe and gently way, while still seeing results in your body, this program is perfect for you.
Whether you decide to start the BodyFIT Foundations program, or you choose a different program that is right for you at this time, remember to quickly go through the questions above to choose the program that is the best fit for you.