How to Design Your Own Exercise Program
Exercise is a manmade construct which was created to make up for the fact that we aren't doing what we were naturally selected to do. Humans are made to move. In fact, our entire nervous system has evolved to ensure that, through movement, we can acquire things that will keep us alive. As human civilization has advanced we have became more sedentary, we created sports and have found ourselves in specialized occupations requiring repetitive movements or extended periods of no movement at all.
With so much information out there, deciding on what do for exercise can get confusing. Here are some simple tips on what to think about when designing your own exercise program.
1. What are your goals?
Knowing what your goal is cuts out all the guess work. Do you want to get better at your sport, do you want maintain your physical independence or do you need to balance out or strengthen the skills that your job requires of you? Becoming clear on what your life goals are can better help you to understand your exercise goals.
2. What physical attributes does this goal require?
Do you need to develop enough stamina to be on your feet all day or is mobility important so that you can fit in tight places or carry things over head? Is the repetitive, one sided nature of your sport creating muscular imbalances in your body that need to be balanced out? Based upon these answers you can then begin to break down your goals into movements or desired physical attributes to then start putting a plan together.
3. Experiment with your dosage
There are only so many days in a week and so being realistic about how much time you want to spend training is really important. Depending on what your goal is, becoming clear on how much time you are going to dedicate towards it will dictate how many physical attributes you can tackle at one time. Learning is enhanced through repetition and so you need to expose yourself to the stimulus you are wanting to adapt to multiple times per week in order to get better at it. This requires self experimentation to figure out how much is too much, how much is too little with the right amount sitting somewhere in the middle.
4. Schedule time for rest
We don’t get stronger through training, we get stronger through recovery. Schedule time for active recovery and make sure you are fueling yourself with enough high quality food to match your energy output. If you get this right, sleep becomes easier and your speed of recovery will be enhanced.