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By Lindsey Williams

To Stay in Shape, Schedule Your Workouts

The fitness life is not an easy one, but it is definitely worth it. Physical activity has a gigantic list of benefits, and knowing these benefits can motivate you even more to get into the gym! Staying on track can be difficult, so scheduling your workouts may help to keep you pushing through and reducing stress as you go.

One of the most important advantages of working out is the stress reduction. Stress in everyday life is inevitable. Seven out of ten adults in the U.S. say they are exposed to stress and anxiety every single day. Humans cannot completely eliminate stress, but there are ways to cope with and manage it. One of the more significant approaches to dealing with stress is exercise. Another study has shown that 14 percent of people use exercise as their way of coping with stress. Exercise is generally the most recommended method by health care professionals. Scientists have discovered that daily aerobic workouts help decrease tension levels, stabilize moods, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Let's say you want to start exercising on a regular basis to deal with your stress, but you can't find the time; that in turn leads to you becoming even more stressed out. This is where the scheduling comes into play.

Work schedules can sometimes interfere with your exercise schedules. That's why scheduling your workouts around your work and social schedule can help keep you focused and on track. Write out your schedule on a piece of paper, including work, social events, chores, etc. Then figure out what your fitness goals for the week are. Maybe you want to work in three days of yoga and three days of aerobic exercise. Write all of that out into time periods that mesh well with your other schedules. Even just 20-30 minutes a day for four or five days would show a substantial change in your mental and physical health. It is important to also incorporate different types of exercise as well. Go for a run three times a week and strength training for the other two and also throw in some yoga time.

When you can actually see a written down instruction to "Go for a 30-minute run today", that increases the probability of you actually going for a run. Sometimes, the problem with working out is you don't have it planned so you have all of these different workouts scrambling around in your head and you get overwhelmed because you think there is not enough time, so you opt out. Knowing exactly what you're going to focus on and the duration time forces your brain to say "Okay, this is on my schedule, let's get this done." This method of scheduling your workout does wonders for people with tough schedules to work around and for people who need organizational assistance. This way, you are getting in your physical fitness for the week and increasing your ability to cope with stress on a day-to-day basis. It eases the mind to organize your week and know exactly what is going to happen and when. Adding in workouts to each week will keep your mental and physical health in top shape!

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