If you are looking to begin an exercise program, the hardest part of the process is well…beginning an exercise program! There are so many options to explore and from every angle, people are touting a specific program as the “best way” to achieve results. With so many options to choose from, many people get frustrated and end up doing nothing at all.
You can bypass all of that nonsense with a simple process called ACARR
- Assess- This is where you assess your current situation, what you are looking to accomplish, your surroundings and your level of motivation. What are you are trying to achieve? Why? How will you do it? What resources do you have or don’t have…etc? This assessment will serve as your baseline point of reference to always keep in mind as you move forward and is valuable for helping you stay motivated, focused and consistent.
- Choose- Choose 1-3 activities that you will be most likely to perform. This can be as simple as a 20 minute walk 3-4 days per week, a basic strength training class at your local gym, a yoga class or all three! Having a few activities to choose from prevents boredom, ensures overall good health and a balanced routine.
- Activate- It’s one thing to choose your activities and another to actually perform them! It is now time to put one foot in front of the other and actually perform your activities of choice. Nothing is set in stone, try different activities and stick with the ones that you enjoy most…that’s the beauty of physical activity, there are so many great options!
- Rotate- Once you have your activities chosen and “activated,” be sure to rotate them to keep things fresh. Every other week or so, switch the days or times that you perform certain activities. This will keep things fresh and also keep your body guessing which means it will be in an “adaptation phase.” When your body is always forced to adapt to new formats, movements and schedules, it raises its level of performance in response. In most cases, that translates to results!
- Repeat- This is self-explanatory!
The great thing is that at any point during the format, you can always change, tweak and improve any step of the process. This allows you to adjust to everyday life, work, family etc.
Again, nothing is written stone other than the fact that doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. Outside of that, choose activities that you enjoy, go at YOUR pace, do what works for YOU, be flexible and be consistent!