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Designing the Right Fitness Program for Your Body and Your Age

Updated: Apr 9

Watch all the Instagram stories you like but all those incredibly fit influencers are not on the same fitness journey as you! Truth There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the right fitness program. Just like you, your fitness routine should be unique and fit all the parts of your life that make you special! Crafting a personalized fitness program needs to be tailored to the goals and, more importantly, personal needs of each body to achieve sustainable results and foster overall well-being.

I speak with clients, friends and family each week on a mission to be the best version of themselves – I applaud the efforts but working hard and working smart go hand in hand if you want to see the results you desire. There are some questions I would ask myself before starting your fitness journey – or if you are looking to tweak your plan to find more optimal results.

1.       What Are My Specific Fitness Goals?

2.       What Is My Current Fitness Level?

3.       What Is My Age and How Does It Impact My Fitness Journey?

4.       What Types of Activities Do I Enjoy?

5.       Do I have nutrition resources to support my fitness goals?

6.       What Are My Time Constraints and Lifestyle Factors?

7.       How will I keep myself accountable on my fitness journey?

Start by defining your goals. Establish clear and realistic fitness objectives. Whether it's building muscle, shedding fat, improving cardiovascular endurance, enhancing flexibility, or all of the above, having defined goals will help shape the structure of your program and keep you motivated along the way. You will stay motivated on your journey if you embrace why you want to get into better shape. What is your why!?!

Before diving into any fitness regimen, understand your current physical condition, strengths, weaknesses, and any underlying health considerations. Consult with a healthcare professional if necessary to ensure you're cleared for exercise and to identify any specific precautions or modifications needed. I always tell clients at minimum you can always walk, get your body moving, add a restorative yoga class to let your body experience a little flexibility. If you have not worked out in a while starting slow is always the best way to go. Then as you feel more comfortable, increase your cardio, add on other activities.

Recognize that age can influence not only exercise capacity, recovery time, and injury susceptibility. Age also plays a significate role in the types and duration of activities one should be doing. For example, as we get older its typically more beneficial to increase weight training and work around flexibility with yoga and Pilates, with less focus on cardio. You can still enjoy a long run but maybe pare intense cardio down to one or two days a week. Take into account other age-related considerations, such as changes in metabolism, bone density, and muscle mass. Designing a program that addresses these factors with appropriate modifications and emphasis on injury prevention is crucial for sustainable progress. If you need to work with a trainer for the first 30 days to get ideas that works too!

Take into account your preferences, interests, and lifestyle commitments when designing your fitness plan. If you enjoy outdoor activities, consider incorporating jogging, hiking, or cycling. If you thrive in group settings, explore classes like yoga, Pilates, or group fitness sessions. The key is to choose activities that you genuinely enjoy and can realistically integrate into your routine. Aim for a well-rounded fitness program that incorporates a mix of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility work, and restorative activities such as yoga or stretching. Incorporating variety not only keeps workouts interesting but also helps prevent boredom, plateaus, and overuse injuries. Additionally, ensure you include rest days in your schedule to allow your body adequate time for recovery and adaptation.

If you are working on your body physically you need to invest in your efforts around nutrition and dietary choices to optimize your efforts – that means using credible sources and individualized advice when navigating nutrition for fitness. Your body is different than your friend’s body and the influencers body you follow each day. Differences in our bodies are not strictly related to sizes and shape – you need to consider health history, some genetics, goals, nutritional needs and overall lifestyle patterns. You can consult a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance tailored to your needs and objectives – which may include in depth blood tests around metabolism. There are also many reputable online resources such as nutrition blogs, scientific journals, and evidence-based websites that can offer valuable information around dietary choices to complement your exercise regimen. Don’t overlook the nutritional part of your journey – nutrition helps you see better results, often times faster and will help you sustain your successes!

When you start on your fitness journey or when changes happen in your life, and you need to reevaluate your fitness goals, be sure to evaluate your schedule, commitments, and lifestyle to determine the feasibility of your fitness program. Be realistic about the time and resources you can dedicate to exercise each week. Factor in considerations such as work, family responsibilities, and social activities.

Design a program that fits seamlessly into your life and allows for flexibility when needed. These suggestions around lifestyle and outside factors are a simple way to look at life, fitness and goals but it is absolutely one of the biggest reasons why a fitness program fizzles out quickly. If you can find a way to incorporate your fitness into your overall lifestyle it will become everyday efforts where you do not need to make huge adjustments to time and resources.

Who will be in your corner on your fitness journey? Better yet, how do you keep yourself accountable. Many people are intrinsically motivated and do not need outside support – they typically are driven all on their own. Are you one of those people? If not, that is completely okay, but you need to know what you need to keep yourself accountable on your journey. Do you like to work out with others, do you need regular accolades from your family and friends, do you respond better with constant reminders to keep you focused? Clients that enter into my program receive regular reminders via email and text almost daily – others just like to meet for our 1:1 session each week. You need to be real with yourself on this topic, find the resources to support your needs and efforts and results will be more fluid and come to you with much more ease.

Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a once in a while - and fitness is a journey, not a destination! Continuously assess and adjust your program as needed based on your progress, changing goals, and evolving fitness level. Gradually increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your workouts to challenge your body and stimulate further improvements. Do be mindful of your body's signals and listen to cues indicating the need for modifications or adjustments to prevent burnout or injury. If you are finding you are bored on your journey, just keep it fun – go dancing with your friends and find activities that bring you closer to your more youthful, easy going self. If you find yourself in challenges use exercise to find ease and peace in your day. Recently I was headed out on a week trip and my flight was super early in the morning. I overslept and arrived to the airport too late to get on my scheduled flight. While I could still get out that morning, I felt the early morning efforts were a total waste and now I was scheduled to arrive at my destination way to late – which meant I would not get my workout in. I love to just move, nothing intense, just a nice morning walk to wake up and let the endorphins in my body take effect and make me feel better! I complained for about 5 minutes and then started thinking out of the box. Since my large suitcase was already checked I decided to grab a luggage carrier for my backpack and yoga mat and headed back to the tram to the economy parking lot. The sun was just coming up and the air felt amazing, I loved removing myself from inside the airport, instantly my mood changed. I used a handle from my back to tie down the handle on the luggage carrier so the wheels would move without me gripping the handle. I proceeded to walk for 90 minutes, got it my 5 miles, enjoyed the beautiful morning and felt so much better! Nothing lost at all – when I was done walking, I headed back into the airport, went through security and boarded my plane. Whatever your situation, make it yours, do not be the victim and spend your time bitching – find a way to sooth yourself, feel better and continue on your fitness and mindful journey of health and wellbeing!

Taking a personalized, accountable approach to fitness journey and empower yourself to cultivate a sustainable and enjoyable routine that aligns with your unique needs, preferences, and goals. Remember, consistency, patience, and self-care are fundamental pillars of any successful fitness journey.

If you need support reach out, the Can Do by Candice program can help you start or continue on your journey.

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