How Can I Create an Exercise Plan that Sticks?

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition) recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week. Hitting this benchmark offers numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic disease. While this may sound daunting, your weekly exercise time doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can create an exercise plan that makes the goal more manageable. You can even break up your exercise within a given day (e.g., doing 10 minutes of walking in the morning, 10 minutes of walking in the evening for 20 minutes of total daily physical activity). You can also spread your exercise time out during the week to support recovery and avoid burnout. 

We’ve all set fitness goals and watched them fizzle out. Exercise and diet planning can be challenging. The trick is to create exercise plans that are realistic and manageable, whether your goals involve weight loss, muscle building, or overall health.

One behavior change technique that you can use is called “action planning.” Action plans are detailed plans that includes the who, what, when, where, and how you will achieve your fitness goals. Think of it like a checklist of items you need to have, which makes it easier for you to track your progress and plan for physical activity in your day.

Excerpted from Society of Behavioral Medicine

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