How to Create an Exercise Journal

Some people can plunge into a new project without planning ahead. Others find that writing a plan is helpful and keeps them on track. When it comes to motivation, the first few months are crucial. If you can stick with physical activities you enjoy, it’s a good sign that you will be able to make exercise and physical activity a regular part of your everyday life. An exercise and physical activity plan might be a good way to help you:
Hand-Written Weekly Exercise Plan

  • Stay motivated to include physical activity as part of your daily life.
  • Be organized so you can fit exercise and physical activity into your current lifestyle.
  • Know what you need to move forward. Do you need to get new exercise shoes or clothes? Do you need equipment, like a mat, weights or a tennis racket? Will you have expenses (like health club fees) that you need to fit into your budget?

What to Include in Your Fitness Plan

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Keyword: workout journals

How Much Exercise Do I Plan for?

Aim for moderate-intensity endurance activities on most or all days of the week. Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, but don’t exercise the same muscle group 2 days in a row. For example, do upper-body strength exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and lower-body strength exercises on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Or, you can do strength exercises of all of your muscle groups every other day. Don’t forget to include balance and flexibility exercises.

Download and use a copy of the Weekly Exercise and Physical Activity Plan to document your ideas. Remember to update your plan as you progress.

Make It a Plan That Works for You

When you are deciding on your activity plans, you’ll want to:

  • Make your plan realistic based on your current activity levels and the amount of time you can dedicate to exercise each week.
  • Make your plan specific. Include all of the details of who, what, where, when, and how you’ll be active each week.
  • Make physical activity a priority. Put it on your “to do” list every day.
  • Make being active easy and fun. Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace a bit.
  • Make it social. Ask a friend or family member to be your “exercise buddy.”

Move Your Way link: Want to get more physical activity? Build a weekly plan

Here’s another online tool to help you get the recommended amount of endurance and strength activity during a given week. This new interactive Activity Planner from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Move Your Way campaign lets you build a weekly physical activity plan and then print it out. You can choose from a variety of fun and exciting endurance (aerobic) and strength exercises, personalize your activities by location and purpose, and indicate how much of each exercise you will do. Once you create your plan, don’t forget to add in balance and flexibility exercises.

Review and Update Your Plan Regularly

Go easy on yourself. You are not alone.Adjust your plan as you progress or if your schedule changes. You may find that things like vacation or illness can interrupt your physical activity routine. Don’t get discouraged! You can start exercising again and be successful.

  • The sooner you resume some sort of activity, the easier it will be to get back into your routine.
  • Think about the reasons you started exercising.
  • Believe in yourself!

If you are finding that your current activities are getting easier to do, find ways to challenge yourself. You can push yourself a little further by:

  • Adding new physical activities to your exercise routine.
  • Spending more time being active.
  • Adding distance to your normal routine.
  • Increasing the intensity of your activity.

Remember to check your progress monthly to see if you need to step your exercise plans up a notch!

Quick Tip

Find an exercise buddy or buddies to help keep you motivated and maintain your exercise routine. Having a standing date with a friend or family member can help you stick to your plan. Join an exercise class. You will soon look forward to exercising with your new friends.

We sincerely hope you find this information helpful. Thank you for spending time with us today. Wishing you the best of health!

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Source: Go4life –  a wealth of information, tips, and tools for healthy living…

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Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

15 thoughts

    1. When starting is the perfect time Ilona. When first starting an exercise program (or anything new), I think it’s important to have a log to review what is actually accomplished vs. what we want to accomplish. A quote I often think of is “we judge others by what they do and ourselves by what we plan to do”. Sometimes our plans sound great, but actually fulfilling them all is unrealistic. Logs are a great way to do a reality-check and encourage progress.
      Thanks for vising Ilona, I loved your latest article on Happiness and Health!

  1. Fantastic post. When my husband and I were going to the gym, we both kept notebooks of our daily workouts. He focused more on strength training and weight-lifting, whereas I did more cardio and certain machines. I use my FitBit every single day to track my steps and my activity level, and that’s been helpful.

    1. Thank you Laura Beth! I just started with a fantastic trainer – he’s an occupational therapist too and fantastic – so I started keeping a journal again too. I forgot how useful they are! Thank you for spending time with us today! Wishing you the best of health!

        1. You are very welcome – good luck with your 5 children – they are beautiful!

    1. Thank you AOC! Journals really do work wonders – especially when starting and/or you’ve been at it awhile. My trainer has me working with one again and I love it! Thank you for stopping by – it’s always so nice to hear from you! Hugs!

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