Establishing an exercise plan helps organize your routine and keep you accountable with your exercises. By planning at least 1 cardiovascular exercise, 1 strength training exercise, and 1 day of rest on your weekly regimen, you can complete a balanced exercise routine. Follow your plan for at least 6 weeks (whether you have good or bad days) to make it a habit. Before you know it, you’ll have an organized and effective exercise plan.
Take time out for exercises
1- Plan shorter exercise sessions first. If you are a beginner in creating an exercise routine, start by programming short but frequent sessions. It begins with sessions of 5 to 10 minutes a day and progresses little by little until it reaches sessions of 30 minutes or even 1 hour in duration.
Every session counts when it comes to exercising. It is better to have 3 to 4 20-minute sessions a week than a single 2-hour session.
If you don’t have time for a full 30-minute session, break it up into several shorter sessions. For example, schedule 2 15-minute routines.
Exercise will become a habit more easily if you exercise every day, even if it’s only 10 to 15 minutes. When you’re having a busy day, try to make room for yourself to do at least a quick walk, a few laps around the block, or a 15-minute Pilates session.
2- Reframe your free time to exercise if you have a busy schedule. Sometimes you have to take time to exercise when you have a busy schedule. Evaluate how you spend your average day and, whenever possible, delegate additional time to exercise.
For example, if you spend a lot of time on social media, take advantage of that free time to exercise.
3- Set the alarm an hour or a half hour before your usual time to get up if you don’t have time during the day. If your schedule for the day is a little busy, get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual. This gives you plenty of time for a morning run or workout before starting your day.
If you exercise in the morning, go to bed with exercise clothes on so you don’t waste time getting ready.
Organize your exercise plan
1- Write your exercise plan online or on paper. Writing down your exercise plan will allow you to feel more responsible than when you only have it in mind. Depending on what suits you best, you could write it down on paper, on the internet, or on a calendar application.
For example, you can write in your calendar “March 10: Go to the gym’s crossfit class at 7pm.”
2- It starts gradually. If you’ve never exercised regularly before, don’t start with long or high intensity exercises. You may get injured or notice that your exercise plan is very difficult to follow. So it is best to start small. Exercise intensity increases over time.
If necessary, start with sessions of 10, 15 or 20 minutes. As you gain muscle strength and become more fit, you can increase the duration of exercise.
If you can’t run 1.5 km (1 mile), divide them into intervals. Run for 5 minutes and then walk for 5 minutes. Over time, run longer and walk for shorter periods of time until you can run the full 1.5 km (1 mile).
3- Plan 2 or 3 cardiovascular exercises in your weekly regimen. Cardiovascular activity increases the heart rate. You can run, walk, ride a bike, do aerobics or play sports. Includes 2 or 3 cardiovascular sessions per week.
For example, you could run on Monday, attend cycling classes on Wednesday, and play tennis on Sunday as 3 of your weekly exercise sessions.
4- Add 2 or 3 strength training exercises to your weekly regimen. Strength training allows you to build muscle mass. You can lift weights, crossfit, or use weight machines. To keep your routine balanced, alternate between cardiovascular exercises and strength training exercises every day.
For example, you could use weight machines on Tuesday and attend a crossfit class on Saturday for 2 of your weekly exercise sessions.
5- Plan 1 or 2 days off in your week. Giving your body a day to recover will help prevent injury and exercise exhaustion. Relax at least 1 day a week and plan a light, relaxing activity instead of your exercise routine.
For example, on your day off you could practice yoga, meditate, stretch, or take a walk.
Make your exercise plan a habit
1- Review your exercise plan every morning. Take a look at it before doing anything else when you wake up. In this way, you can make a mental image of your daily routine.
If you write down your exercise plan, stick it somewhere near your bed so you can see it when you wake up.
2- Do exercises that you enjoy. If you hate lifting weights and all the time lifting dumbbells in the gym, exercises will seem like a must. Instead, fill your regimen with exercises you like to be willing to follow.
For example, if you love being in the water, you could swim back and forth as a cardio exercise or attend a water aerobics class.
3- Follow your exercise plan even when you don’t feel like exercising. Establishing your new exercise routine is much more important on days when exercising is a struggle. If you are not in the mood to exercise, think about the benefits you will get in the long term and how important it is for you to follow your exercise routine.
Since physical activity increases endorphins, you may even feel better after exercising.
4- Give your exercise plan 6 weeks to become a routine. Although it is often said that fixing a habit requires 21 days, it usually takes 6 weeks. Stick to your regimen for at least 6 weeks, and after this time has passed, it will be much easier to follow.
If you still have trouble following your exercise plan, you should vary the types of exercises you do or the duration of the sessions.
If it’s hard for you to follow your exercise plan, think of its health benefits as motivation. Regular exercise strengthens muscles and bones, improves mood, improves sleep quality, and can improve immune system function. 
Reward yourself on the days, weeks, or months that you follow your exercise plan perfectly. This is a way to motivate yourself to exercise frequently and make your regimen a habit.
If you have children, involve them in the exercises. Have a family basketball game or use a stroller to take young children for a run.