Planning Workouts and Exercise


Exercise is great for your mental health, as well as your physical health. Remember: You do not need to be Athletic or a super active person to benefit. In this article we are going to look at planning and building a workout schedule.

The starting point is simple. What exercise do you want to do?

Next – what do you actually define as exercise? For the purpose of this article I’ll refer to workouts. Exercise is getting more active, something that causes an elevation of your heart rate through moderate or intense movement and activity. So when you think exercise and planning a workouts, remember to consider the wider definition of exercise. What do you do that makes you more active? Housework and gardening quite easily fit into this category.

What do you want to achieve?

Before we actually plan an exercise, you need to think about what your broadly wish to achieve with exercise? •

  • Weight loss
  • Strength
  • Maintenance
  • Weight loss – many people state they wish to lose weight from a specific area – that is not possible. Weight loss occurs generally, so a change in shape from a specific area will happen alongside any other change in your body shape.

How often should I exercise?

•The UK government recommends at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. Note: this is the recommended minimum.

  • The recommendation is not to do one single 2.5 hour session of exercise, but for this to be spread out through the week.
  • Try to exercise four to five days per week
  • Split the minimum recommendation over those days. Include at least one rest day per week (more on this to come)

Rest is also important

  • Too much exercise can be problematic.
  • Rest days are critical
  • You need at least one full day of rest from exercise per week
  • Rest days should be flexible, stick to a minimum of one, but increase if you experience high levels of muscle soreness.

Structuring your exercise plan

  • Unless you are following a rigid training plan for an event (such as a race or marathon) then you can take a flexible approach to the plan
  • Having a plan for exercise can help motivation and can also diversify your workouts.
  • It can also help to ensure different muscle groups are targeted over different days.
  • It can be a basic plan •Its your life, your workout.  This is not a prescription
  • Give yourself time to do research online or reading

A note on rest days

  • A rest day means taking a break from most forms of moderate or intense exercise.
  • It is advisable to do some form of exercise on a rest day.
  • This should be very light.
  • For example: a short, low intensity walk or stretching
  • These movements will help to loosen the body and aid mobility / recovery.

* Experiment with rest days, you may need to adjust your rest days if you are new to scheduled rest days.


  • Think about what you want to achieve.
  • If your goal is simply to be more active – that is fantastic
  • Write your goal down – maybe even have it on a piece of paper you can see each day for motivation

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