What to Consider When Choosing a Fitness Program

Eating healthy and exercising, while so important for you and your health, can be tough things to fit into your busy schedule. Examining nutrition labels and figuring out what the best kind of workouts are for you can be time consuming. Sometimes it can feel like you’re not making any progress on your own. Lucky for us, we no longer have to plan our own meals and workouts! There are hundreds of different fitness plans that can set you on track and relieve from your shoulders the stress of having to build your own program. But one question remains: “Which one should I chose?” There are a wide variety of factors that you should consider when choosing a plan.

 

Accessibility

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One thing to consider is when and where you are going to want to use your program. If your answer is “on the go”, then you might want to choose a program that has an app you can download to your phone for easy access. While most programs I’ve come across either have an app or website, some may be more convenient to use than others, so you definitely want to look into all of your options. I like to have all of my information right at hand.

 

Meal Plan

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Another big question is whether or not you want your meals planned out for you. A lot of programs now have your day-to-day diet already established, while others may give you certain numbers (like grams of protein, etc) to consume on a certain day, while some don’t come with food options at all. For this decision, you might want to consider your diet and whether you think you need further guidance. I like the option of a day-to-day meal plan because it allows me to see what kinds of food I should be eating, even if I don’t prepare that specific snack/meal.

 

Personal Trainer/Community

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Next, you should decide what kind of communication you would like with others. Some programs are more isolated for you to concentrate on you with little interference. Some have personal trainers for you to talk with. Others even have community message boards where you can talk with others who are also working on the program. This will require a knowledge about yourself and how you succeed. I have noticed that I do better and work harder in community settings, so I like message boards.

 

Long Term Goals of Program

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Of course the goal overall is to be healthy, but you want to see what the end goal is for the program. Is it 12 weeks and then a “See ya” at the end of the program, or does it continue on with more workouts, meal plans, and maybe even harder levels. You might be looking for a 12 week fix or a long term commitment, so look into the options of each program so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.

 

Cost

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Speaking of getting your money’s worth, the price can really affect your willingness to buy in to a program. I have yet to see any program that is completely free, unless you count your Fitness and Health boards on Pinterest as programs. This reason is why you want to make sure you’re getting everything you want in your program, or else it will be a waste of both time and money.

 

Exercise Difficulty & Duration

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Personally, I think this is the most important decision. KNOW YOURSELF! Don’t buy into a program with 2 hour workouts if you get bored easily or haven’t worked out in a while. Know yourself, your goals, and what you can handle. You should look at what the program focuses on specifically. For example, it might be cardio based, lifting, a combination of both, etc. Consider physical limitations as well, like knee or ankle issues, and make a decision based around those needs.

 

MY CHOICE

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I think it’s important to write about what app I use and why, so you can get a good feel as to what goes into purchasing a program. I am currently on Kayla Itsine’s BBG program, a program out of the Sweat app. I liked that the program had meal plans, a community messaging board, and was easily accessible through the app. The program was $120 for the entire year, and you get access to other programs if you purchase through the Sweat app. The workouts are 28 minutes long, and switch between strength training and cardio. There are multiple levels to work through, such as BBG 1.0, 2.0, and BBG Stronger, so as you continue to work out and get stronger, the program gets stronger with you.