- Identify the benefits of regular exercise, for both body and brain
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part of being physically active. The important thing is to find activities you like to do, so you’ll stick with them. In order to help you understand how much activity you need to do on a regular basis, your task is create a sensible routine.
Start by creating a plan that will help you see the benefits of regular exercise. The following five steps will help create an exercise plan, and if you need more guidance, do an internet search using the phrase “exercise plan” or “workout plan.”
- List three physical activities that you enjoy doing or would like to try.
- Identify any special requirements or equipment you need before doing the activities you’ve listed. For example, will you need a gym membership? Do you need to purchase running shoes? etc.
- Set a realistic, weekly exercise time goal for yourself. Aim for at least 150 minutes or more per week.
- Using a digital or printed calendar, plan and label the days of the week, times, and places that you plan to exercise. Specify the activity or activities that you intend to do. (For example: Monday, 6–7 a.m., 30 min on stationary bike, college gym; Wednesday, 2–3 p.m., 60 min speed-walking with Maya, Riverside Park; Saturday, 1–2 p.m, lift weights, college gym.)
- Track your progress for one week. Recording the amount of time you actually exercised. If you engaged in any unplanned physical activities. Say you ended up riding your bike to school instead of taking the bus, include those, too.
Now that you’ve created your plan, the next step is to reflect on your experience. Write about your experience in a short journal entry (250-300 words) and reflect on what you learned:
- What kinds of exercise did you engage in, and which did you enjoy the most?
- What was your weekly time goal? Did you meet it?
- What worked or didn’t work?
- What might you need to change in order to make exercise a regular habit?