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Fitness Planning

Jo Williams provides some advice on the "things to do" and "things to avoid" to achieve a successful fitness plan.

We all know the importance of fitness programs. Many people have at one point or the other in their lives drawn up a fitness plan. Unfortunately, only a handful of people remain committed to their plan after a few months. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most common cause is getting overwhelmed by the routine.

A fitness program only gets overwhelming when you do not arm yourself with the right home gym equipment, and the right knowledge to keep things in motion. After you commit to getting into shape, there are some things you should do, and others to avoid, ensuring you meet both your long-term and short-term fitness goals.  What are these?

Things to do

  • Make a list of what you intend to achieve with your fitness training regime. If you do not have some set goals, it becomes challenging to stick with any fitness programs you are trying to follow. You should ensure you know why you are doing anything in life; otherwise, hurdles and challenges will become insurmountable mountains in the way of your journey.
  • Be clear on your current fitness level before you decide on an exercise program. By so doing, you will be able to set goals that are in line with your specific fitness needs. You will not be able to mentally accept, or physically achieve a program that is too steep a curve.
  • If you have any health challenges, like obesity or diabetes, you need to talk to your health care provider before getting into a fitness program. Embarking on a fitness program while battling a condition must be well thought through process.
  • Before you start your workout sessions, make it a habit to warm-up. You also need to cool down at the end of the session. Warming up and cooling down before and after a session goes a long way to keep you fit for the next fitness session.  This becomes increasingly important, as we get older. At 30 years of age, we cannot do what we did at 18; mores the pity!
  • Do not do anything to excess. Doing too much of anything guarantees fast burnout. You should increase the intensity of your workouts slowly so that your regime is sustainable.
  • You need to diversify your workout routine. Doing the same exercise every day guarantees quick tiring mentally. When this happens, you will get tired physically more quickly and end up skipping workouts due to dissatisfaction with the process.
  • Look for a serious work-out partner or join a club. This will ensure you are always motivated to complete your workout sessions.
  • Water intake is essential. You need to take in plenty of fluids at the start, in between, and at the end of your workout sessions.
  • Do not go on long workout sessions when first starting. At the initial stage, your work out session should be 10-15 minutes, unless you have a high starting level of fitness; be honest with yourself.

Things to avoid

  • The body needs adequate time for recovery between workouts. Do not make the mistake of overtraining; you will end up injured and doing more harm than good.
  • Do not skip breakfast. By eating breakfast, you are giving your metabolism the kick it needs while providing you with the energy to get through the rest of the day.
  • Stretching is very important, so never skip it after workouts.
  • Sleep provides you with the energy to focus on your exercise, so do not burn the candle at both ends.
  • Avoid setting goals that are anything short of unrealistic. If you are looking to lose weight, 1-2 pounds lost per week is the ideal target. Expecting to shed 10 pounds every week means you are setting yourself up for a great deal of disappointment.
  • Do not make the mistake of comparing your successes or failures with those of your workout partner. Everyone is unique and so what works for a particular individual may not work for another.
  • Do not work out haphazardly.  Follow your schedule if you are to reap the benefits of the workout regime.
  • Do not throw in the towel. If you start feeling discouraged about your regime, talk to your fitness coach or partner. Re-invigorate your workout; get inspiration and focus.
  • Do not forget the importance of rewarding yourself with each goal accomplished. However, avoid making the reward unhealthy food.


These are the "things to do" and "things to avoid" you must adhere to if you are to avoid falling by the fitness wayside where so many with previously good intentions are now lying.

Remember to keep your mind open and stay flexible when you begin your fitness workout regime. Willingness to learn new techniques and to set realistic targets will help you reach your fitness goals.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • WILLIAMS, J. (2014) Fitness Planning [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Jo Williamson was a personal trainer and Yoga instructor for nearly a decade. She is a freelance consultant helping businesses and individuals set up health clubs and gyms.