How to Develop a Balanced Workout Routine

woman jogging and creating a balanced workout routine
Andrew Tanglao

When it comes to working out, many people struggle with figuring out the how, when, and what. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! While having ambitious goals of getting fit and improving you everyday health are wonderful… sometimes big focuses can feel overwhelming, too ‘big’ to conceptualize, and tough to implement in the day-to-day.

However, it is possible to overcome your lack of motivation and develop a balanced workout routine. Here are three simple tips to help you get started:

1. Set Realistic Fitness Goals

The first step to creating a routine that works for you is to make sure that you know what you’re working towards. After all, it’s difficult to be motivated when you’re only trying to reach the vaguely defined goal of “getting healthier.”

However, a set fitness goal will give you that motivation that you need. This goal can be a number of things, but the most popular goals are:

  • To achieve an ideal weight
  • To gain muscle
  • To implement better habits

These goals, although overarching (and need work as far as determining focus!) will help you to determine what kind of exercises you integrate into your routine. However, this is just a starting point. You should have solid, tangible goals rather than something as vague as the ones listed above.

If you plan to become an ‘ideal’ weight, then you can set a quantifiable, attainable number. Another way to set a goal (which might be more practical depending on the focus area) is to aim for the ability of something. For example, to run a certain distance or to train for a specific sporting event.

However, the most important thing when setting your goals is to make sure that they are attainable and realistic. 

One of the biggest enemies to motivation is an overly ambitious goal. If your goal is too difficult to achieve in any amount of time, then you will soon become discouraged and frustrated. Rather than jumping to your endgame right away, start slowly and start small. Once you achieve your first goals, you can progress to the next step, then move on from there.

2. Create A Balanced Routine

Once you know what you’re working towards, the next step is to come up with a plan and a routine to work towards the goal. Regardless of your goal, your routine should have a measure of balance. 

Yes, your workouts/exercise will primarily be designed to assist you in this goal, but it’s important to make sure that you exercise different muscle groups and that you engage in different exercises as well. Even if you’re strength training, for example, you should include some cardiovascular exercises in addition to the muscle building exercises. 

One of the most common pitfalls that people fall into is an unbalanced routine. An unbalanced routine may result in injury, or an unnatural result. For example, if you neglect leg days and focus only on your arms and shoulders, then you may end up with a disproportioned build (and risk of injury, too!).

There are many different routines out there, and many that are designed to provide balance as you move towards your goal(s). For example, the push pull exercise routine is designed to prevent you from overtraining certain muscle groups, while making sure that the target areas get worked as much as you want them to be.

Your first step is to research different routines so that you can find one that works for you.

3. Focus On Staying Motivated

A realistic goal and a balanced routine will help you to stay motivated, but sometimes you need an extra helping hand. One great step that some people forget about is making sure that you have fun during your workout. 

Music can be a great way to do this, as it helps you to forget about the burn or discomfort of your workout while giving you a rhythm to connect with. Another way to help you to have fun is to work out with a friend. 

Not only will a workout buddy make the exercise more enjoyable, but it will also give you an external motivation for working out which can provide additional benefits to your intrinsic motivation.

You can also think about dong a retreat! Whether you attend a yoga retreat or dive into shaolin kung fu from masters in the art, on a retreat you can gain a more intensive, purposeful, and enjoyable experience that will make you super motivated upon your return!

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Tanglao
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