The Ultimate Action Plan to Make Fitness Your #1 Priority

Staying healthy and active is important for both physical and mental health. Hereís the ultimate action plan to make fitness a priority in your life.

1. Prioritize Your Sleep

When youíre feeling tired in the morning, youíre probably more likely to hit the snooze button than go for a run. However, studies show that people who regularly work out during the week have improved sleep. According to an article in Menís Journal, your sleep state is the time when most of your food is digested, hormones are released, and nutrients are stored to build muscle.

2. Get Support for your Fitness Goals

Half of the battle of getting into a new training routine is finding support from friends or family. Start with home workouts with your family if you canít find time to make it to the gym. Instead of catching up with a friend over dinner, go check out a new fitness class together. Having this type of support system behind you can provide great encouragement and motivate you to reach your fitness goals.

3. Find Your Workout Style

Some people respond better to individual training sessions while others prefer group settings. There is no "one size fits all" workoutójust make sure you enjoy the type of workout youíre doing. If you find that running on a treadmill by yourself isnít your favorite, go to a cycling or Zumba class.

4. Give Yourself Rest Days

To make sure fitness is not the only priority in your life, add in rest days. This will not only give you a break from any strenuous exercise youíre doing, but it will also prevent injury.

5. Try Different Types of Workouts to Condition Different Areas of the Body

While many people dread "leg" day or "abs" day, there are proven benefits to having more than one workout in your repertoire. House Method recommends alternating between high and low impact workouts. According to a study from Skidmore College, four different workouts a week would be the most effective at increasing cardiovascular health.

6. Begin Your Plan Slowly

According to a 2010 study from the UK's University College London, it takes much longer for the brain to develop new habits closer to two months. It may be easier to begin a workout plan for 15 minutes a day, and increasing the length by 15-minute blocks over the course of several weeks. By the time 60 days have passed, you can be working out for up to an hour.