A Beginners Guide to a Personalized Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Plan: Exercise

Exercise, burning calories, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

So let’s be honest, getting into any sort of routine can be hard, but there’s something about exercise that can be really hard! You just don’t know where to start, how to make the time, and the list goes on. I promise you that with this step by step process, you will get headed in the right direction and I will help you transition from a minimal to more frequent exercise routine. 

You will find more on my Healthy Lifestyle page as to why I feel so strongly about sharing this information with you and why I believe in this so much. 

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Here’s what we will cover in this post and by the end, you will have yourself a great plan for starting to, or getting back on track with exercising. 

  • 4 Steps to Planning for Exercise
  • 2 Steps for Creating a Great Exercise Routine
  • Also in this post I’ll share:
    • 1 great FREE download template that covers this entire process to make it a little easier
    • 1 of my favorite pre-workout drinks to give you that extra energy to have a great workout
    • Where to get additional resources to help you with your new lifestyle goals

Let's start with the Hint of Happy Personalized Exercise and Routine Template

Download this template to follow along with the information in this post to make setting up your exercise routine super easy!

Personalized Exercise Plan and Routine

Alright, now that you have the template, let’s go through the first 4 steps!

4 Steps to Planning for Exercise

1. Start by making a list of any activities or exercise, if any, you are doing or have done and more importantly – that you ENJOY and don’t mind doing!

These should be broad topics – you can decide the details of something like “circuit training” later. Other, examples may include hiking, jogging on the treadmill, walking, yoga, playing soccer with the kids.

You may be thinking, wait, I thought YOU were going to give ME exercises to do!?


That will come, but for now, we want to focus on making a plan and just simply carving out the time in your life for exercise. Then we can worry about what type of exercise you are doing.

If you don’t have the time cut out, then what would the point be in me giving you exercises to do?

So we start with the activities you already like doing and focus on making time, and then work on evolving the activities to be more purposeful. 

2. Next to each of the activities you listed, identify where you would do the activity. At home, the gym, park, etc.

When we get to the routine portion, this will be important as you consider if you have enough time for the activity and any preparation for it.

This will tell you if you need to plan for driving to the gym, pack a bag to go somewhere after or before work, or if you are using the comfort of your own home.

If you have multiple locations that you can do the activity, be sure to include them all in this column.

3. The next column on your template is the “duration” duration of the activity.

This and the frequency, step number 4, will be important for when you put together your routine.

If your routine only allows for 30 minutes of activity on Monday, then the 9 holes of golf will not be attainable; however, the 30-minute [beginner/intermediate/advanced] interval training on the treadmill would be perfect! 

Don’t forget to factor in travel time or shower time if you are going somewhere away from home and/or are needing to be cleaned up to go to work, etc.

4. And lastly, in the final column for each of the exercise activities you named, you will write down the frequency. How often out of 7 days a week would you want to do this activity?

Frequency is important for a couple of reasons: you may not be doing it as often because it isn’t something you really enjoy, because you do not have access to the resources all of the time, or because the duration does not fit into your schedule.

You can always change the frequency; this is just giving you a rough idea to help in designing your personal exercise routine.

Now that you have planning done, it’s time to build your personal routine.

2 Steps for Creating a Great Exercise Routine

Start by thinking about what you are doing now, even if it is nothing, that’s okay – you have to start somewhere, and you’ve already gotten this far! 

The reason I have you start here is because the more closely you start with what you are currently doing, the more easy it will be to add and adjust to new things; gradually shifting your current lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle.

This is exactly why in the healthy eating post I have you just focus on your current routine, changing up the types of calories will come soon enough. First the foundation, and planning and routine are the foundation. 

Consider these questions before jumping into the routine steps:

How often do I currently set aside time to exercise per week?

Which days do I set aside time to exercise each week?

If you answered 1 or less to the above, this is going to take a little more initial effort and thinking through.

The great thing is that you have the Hint of Happy community to support you, and you can always Connect with me any time if you need an accountability partner.

Or OFFICIALLY JOIN THE HINT OF HAPPY COMMUNITY to get great updates and fresh ideas to keep your healthy lifestyle on track!

Just a reminder if you haven’t grabbed the Exercise Planning and Routine Template, you should do that for this final step.

I’m going to challenge you to commit 4 days of your 7-day week to a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise. 

It doesn’t matter what you do, but you must spend 30 minutes doing some sort of activity that elevates your heart rate during that 30 minutes. 

Now that you have your first Hint of Happy challenge, let’s put a routine together!

2 Steps for Creating a Great Exercise Routine

1. Consider how much availability you have each day of the week.

Use what you answered to the questions above about how often you already set time aside to exercise. Can you add one or two more days for 30 minutes?

Using the template and next to each day, determine if you can workout that day and if it would be in the morning, afternoon or evening and for how much time you would have available.

Don’t forget the challenge, aim for 4 times each week. 

2. Now it is time to use all of the planning you did at the beginning of this post together to design your routine.

For each of the days that you indicated you have at least 30 minutes’ worth of time to exercise, transfer next to each day, the activity, location and actual duration of the activity you will do for that day and that will fit into your availability.

If you enter in activities that require more information to actually do the workout, such as interval running on the treadmill, be sure to have those details available and planned.

The same would go for a weighted circuit workout, have that circuit written down so that you know exactly what you are doing and it is ready for you to follow as soon as you are ready to begin the activity!

Always check out the Exercise and Best Products portion on the Healthy Lifestyle page for new exercise ideas, as well as the Exercise blog posts.  

When you sign up for the Hint of Happy newsletter you will be updated on future posts specific to exercise and evolving your plan and routine.

I’m so proud of you for taking the time to build the foundation for your healthy personalized exercise plan!

By planning and creating a personal exercise routine, and if you’ve begun your Healthy Meal Planning and Routine , you’ve laid the foundation for your future healthy lifestyle change.

Calories consumed (food and drink) and calories burned (exercise) work together towards a healthy lifestyle.

Having this great personalized foundation to grow from and create healthy behaviors will be so important as you take this journey with the Hint of Happy community!

I look forward to sharing with you how to “clean up” your eating and exercise and evolve it as your lifestyle changes for the good and your fitness level increases. 

1 of my favorite pre-workout drinks to give you that extra energy to have a great workout

Okay, before I recap what we covered in this post, I want to empathize with you for a minute – where on earth will you get the energy to add exercise to your day…let alone the time you just had to carve out for it!?

Truth: This might be one of the main reasons I like to work out first thing in the morning! But to also help me not matter what time of day I work out, I love to use Spark!

Spark is by far one of the best things I’ve ever tried for getting a boost in energy. And this is coming from a tired, full-time job outside of the home, momma. I’d trade it in over coffee any day of the week! Not only does it give me an energy boost, it helps me focus and be more alert. It stays with me and doesn’t give me a crash like other caffeinated products do. I even took it when I was pregnant and nursing – typically taking half of the recommended serving. (you should always check with your doctor before taking any additional supplements when pregnant or breast feeding)

This stuff is awesome! 

We’ve covered a lot of information, so let’s recap what you have learned and set up for your personal exercise plan and routine.

  1. Planning: You now have a list of activities that you currently have some involvement in – and hopefully enjoy spending time doing. You know how long and where you can do the activities. You can always come back  to these, change them up and switch them out from your routine.
  2. Routine: You have identified times during your busy schedule, 4 times each week, that you can fit in a minimum of 30 minutes of activity. You listed out which activities you will do for each of those days in your weekly routine.

Where to get additional resources to help you with your new lifestyle goals

A great foundation is really important to the success of your healthy lifestyle transition. I believe in this so much that I created this amazing guide to help you with Meal and Exercise Planning and Routine. Not only does it include the step by step templates in one simple guide, for you to go back to as many times as you need to, but it also includes Hint of Happy Extras:

  • Exercise and Healthy Eating Tips
  • 3 healthy breakfast recipes
  • 3 healthy lunch recipes
  • 3 healthy dinner recipes
  • “This instead of that” craving recommendations for snacking
  • 1 very yummy healthy dessert recipe
  • 3 Workouts
  • A list of abdominal exercises
  • 3 different recommended weekly exercise routines
Healthy Lifestyle Guide

I hope you consider getting serious about making a healthy lifestyle your future!

While you are checking out this Healthy Lifestyle Guide, take a second to check out the other great products that are available on the Hint of Happy Shop!

So what do you think? Are you excited about the things we’ve covered here? I’m so excited for you!

Comment below and let me know your thoughts and questions! 

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