By Christina | August 19, 2009
Some people are foodies and wake up in the morning thinking about what they are going to eat for dinner. Some people may even fall asleep dreaming about food and what their next meal will be. I am not one of those people when it comes to food, but I am when it comes to exercise. You should be too.
I never wake up not knowing what exercise I am going to do that day. I plan in advance with myself exactly what body parts I want to emphasize, what my goals are, and how I am going to set about accomplishing them.
For example, I knew yesterday that I wanted to have a tempo run today. I envisioned running 5 miles on the treadmill (so I could accurately calculate distance and speed) in 45 minutes. In order to be effective, the goals you set out for yourself in your workout have to be specific. It can’t just be a general intention of working out hard.
By thinking about my workouts ahead of time, I give my mind time to grapple with the task that I am about to embark on so that I will be mentally ready. Distinct goal setting has the added benefit of allowing you to prepare your body to be physically ready to excel in the challenge you set for yourself.
If you are intending on running an endurance run of 12 miles, you are going to fuel and hydrate your body differently than if you were planning on taking a hatha yoga class.
Exercise should not be like a box of chocolates. Surprises are not going to yield training results in your body. Teaching yourself how to think about your exercise plan well in advance of doing it also allows you to make sure that your exercise program is balanced and comprehensive. Your weekly, if not daily, workout routine must incorporate cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, balance, and flexibility in order to be complete. Shooting from the hip each day, deciding what exercise you might feel like doing, is not a good strategy for success.
When you plan and visualize your workouts, you are much more likely to execute them in the manner you intended and your body will become leaner, stronger, and more defined as a result.