How to Prep For a Workout in 4 Easy Steps

Need help making exercise a habit?

Do you have trouble sticking with an exercise routine? And find that you want to exercise each week, but simply forgot when you had the time? Or maybe you just didn’t ‘feel’ like it when you had the time? Do you find that sticking to an exercise routine difficult? If you’ve experienced any of theses reasons, you know that getting into an exercise routine isn’t easy. But, there is one thing that can help. One simple word – HABIT. And once you form a healthy habit, it will become part of your life, the same as doing laundry on Thursdays and grocery shopping on Saturdays.

Follow these easy steps for a month and soon they’ll become  habit. I follow to prepare for Flexibility Monday. Since I only need a mat, I do these at home and follow these steps. Also note that the 2nd step, recording the session on my fitbit is necessary if your fitness program doesn’t record flexibility workouts. My fitbit app records my heart rate, but doesn’t recognize it as stretching, so I log this workout manually.

Do you use a fitness app that records your stretch workout or do you need to record manually too? And don’t forget, many health insurance companies are beginning to use fitness apps to reward activity, so you’ll want to be sure that those workouts are recorded accurately too. Now, let’s get started!

How to get setup for your workout

What we will cover:

Equipment Used

For this example, I’ll go through the steps for our Monday, 35 minute full-body flexibility workout. Let me know if you have additional steps that you do that you think would be helpful. What I use:

    • an exercise mat
    • a smartphone
      • iPhone timer
      • iPhone stopwatch
      • fitbit app
    • workout
    • 35 minutes

Steps in a Workout Prep

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How to Prep For a Workout – Step 1:  Select a Workout

This first step is important as it involves selecting your workout. You’ll want to select your workout first because there are mat, equipment, and timing options that you will want to take into consideration. For example, having a stopwatch is important to doing a Plank, but isn’t important if you are using an elliptical machine because these machines normally have a built-in timer that counts down from your goal.

Flexibility Exercises
   Professionals Health Connection Stretch Workout

The flexibility workout we have chosen doesn’t require any equipment so we are all set for Step 2.

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Workout Prep – Step 2: Select a Mat

There are lots of reasons why you should use a mat and protecting your body from a hard floor seems to be the best. But you’ll also want the right mat for the exercise you are doing.

Exercise Mat
Tap to Buy Exercise Mat on Amazon

See below for our article “How to Choose an Exercise Mat” for straight-forward advice on how to find the right mat for the type of workout you’ll be doing.

If you need a towel or will be using weights, gather them in this step. Hint – leaving everything together is a great way to save some time. I keep my mat, bands, and weights together in my office closet so they are handy for almost all my workouts.

OK now, we have all our equipment and ready for Step 3.

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Workout Prep – Step 3: Record Your Workout

Activity trackers can normally detect your workout but if your device isn’t fully charged, you aren’t wearing your fitbit (if it’s not waterproof), or you are doing a stretch workout (Fitbit records by heart rate), you may want to log your exercise manually.

Fitbit Exercise Log
Logging Exercise on a Fitbit

You can see the full details about how to do that with our article “How to Log Your Workout on Fitbit“. Remember to hit ‘Edit Exercise Details’ twice – for some reason it doesn’t show calories unless you do. And for best results, keep your fitbit fully charged.

Almost done, we are now ready for Step 4.

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Workout Prep – Step 4: Set your timer

If you have a smartphone you can set the timer to record your entire workout, and use the stop watch for an individual exercise at the same time. When you are doing a plank or aerobic workout you may find the stopwatch to be very useful.

iPhone Timer
iPhone Stopwatch


Now you are all set for a great workout! When ready, hit start on the timer. It will count backwards until your exercise time is up. And every time you follow these steps, the quicker your setup will be. Congratulations on starting your exercise routine!

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Alternative Equipment

Don’t have this equipment? No problem, just improvise! Here are some suggestions and links to Amazon products and our favorite flexibility workout…

Loop Resistance Band WorkoutLoop Resistance Band Workout Kettlebell Exercises Kettlebell Exercises – Russian Twist Balance Ball Crunch photo by Balance Ball Exercises
Health and Wellness AppsFitness App Timer Stopwatch

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We hope you enjoy the Professionals Health Connection. Thank you again!

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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.

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