I always see ‘A Day on the Plate of a Dietitian’ type posts or articles so I thought I’d do one as an exercise physiologist, except for a week of exercise training.
Here’s my typical week:
Monday – BodyPump
Tuesday – whatever I feel like doing
Wednesday – ballet and BodyPump
Thursday – whatever I feel like doing
Friday – whatever I feel like doing
Saturday – RPM and ballet
Sunday – whatever I feel like doing
You’ll notice there’s an awful lot of ‘whatever I feel like doing‘ going on. In fact, if it weren’t for BodyPump and RPM being my permanent teaching classes and ballet only running at set times, all days would probably be ‘whatever I feel like doing.’ At the moment, I’m really enjoying running, dance (ballet and contemporary), yoga, and weight training.
I used to have a very strict training schedule with specifics on what sort of training I would do on each day of the week. Provided it’s a healthy schedule for your mind and body, that’s perfectly ok. For some of you, a training schedule will work really well for you, particularly if you’re exercising for something in particular (rehabilitation, increasing strength, triathlon for example). In these instances, exercise programming can be pretty complicated and it’s a great idea to see an exercise professional.
Some of you might be creatures of habit and just really like having a set schedule. That’s great too (just make sure you mix it up fairly regularly).
For others however, there’s really nothing wrong with not having a set schedule. You can base your exercise around what you’re in the mood for, how your body is feeling, what the weather is like, the group fitness schedule at your gym, how stressed you are etc. In this instance, exercise really doesn’t need to be complicated.
I’ve found working from a ‘whatever I feel like’ approach rather than a set schedule is much healthier for me. It removes the guilt if I decide not to exercise on a given day, whether it’s because I’m still sore from a previous session or because I’m just not in the mood for it.
On the flip side, it allows for fun, impromptu, hardcore sessions when I do feel like it.
My best advice: find whatever exercise routine you most enjoy and is healthiest for your body and mind. Once you’ve found it, do it and enjoy it.
Just to add in: exercise scheduling is a bit different to an exercise program. For things like resistance training, it’s a great idea to get a program that is individually suited to you. You may be recommended to do this, say 2-3 times per week. Exercise scheduling differs in that rather than suggesting you do this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you choose the days that suit you in that given week. It allows more flexibility and less guilt (still make sure you get your rest days though).