Building a sustainable workout programme

Monday May 17 2021

Pick a fun goal. You are more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you actually enjoy it. PHOTO/NET

By Roland D. Nasasira

In 2019, Julius Tumusiime wanted to lose weight from 105 kilogrammes to at least 85 kilogrammes. What worried him, however, was how to start and what type of exercise to engage in in order to achieve his target. One big hurdle was his work schedule that could not allow him enough time off for exercise.

“I consulted a gym instructor on what exercises I could engage in to lose approximately 20 kilogrammes and how much time it could take. The next step was to create time out of my busy schedule since I would leave office as late as 9pm and would be in office as early as 7:30am. At the weekend when I was off, I would be occupied with family chores,” Tumusiime says.

After two weeks of adjusting his busy schedule to include a flexible exercise schedule, Tumusiime hit the gym. He adds that although he was unable to lose the 20 kilogrammes in the desired two months, his target was achieved five months later. He started with aerobics classes before moving on to jogging on the treadmill and jogging by the roadside at the weekend, thrice a week. 

Working out with family
Stuart Oramire, a fitness enthusiast, says incorporating work out sessions on a family calendar is one of the ways of building a sustainable workout programme.

“I used to jog by myself until I realised I was being selfish. I have since started jogging with my children thrice a week. If, for any reason, I am unable or the children are unable to jog as planned, it does not stop the other party from jogging or doing any other exercise. It has become a family routine,” Oramire says.

A phased manner
Oramire adds that to achieve success, one should also set goals in a phased way. For instance, you can resolve that every three months, you want to lose a certain amount weight. You can set out to lose five kilogrammes in the first quarter, 10kgs in the second quarter and approximately 15kgs in the third quarter.


“By the end of the third quarter, you would have lost 20kgs. You achieve your target gradually and flexibly as opposed to losing weight in a short time because you have more time at your disposal,” Oramire adds. 
Gym subscription
The other way to achieve a sustainable workout programme is gym membership subscription. If you, for instance, pay Shs1m a year, you do not want your money to go to waste so you would always find time to work out.

Salim Kalisa, a fitness instructor, says one should set a target to achieve and how to actually achieve it. Different exercises yield different results when done over a period of time. You have to identify what kind of exercise is best for you and how to start.

“Start slowly and proceed gradually. If you want to lose 10kgs in a month and you want to spend six hours in the gym daily, you may achieve the target but it will expose you to complications such as torn muscles. Work out for a short time but over a certain period of time to avoid causing body pain or sustaining injuries,” Kalisa advises.

In some cases, achieving a fitness goal is best done when in the company of other people. It is for this reason Kalisa advises that when starting out, find a gym instructor or second party to give you company regardless of whether you are working out indoors or outdoors. Your workout partner will also act as motivation and keep you from giving up.

Build confidence at home first
According to, an online portal, if you are new to exercise, working out at home by yourself can help you master the moves and familiarise yourself with the process without feeling like all eyes are on you. 

The portal adds that when you have not exercised for some time, you will likely get sore. This is normal and occurs from micro-tears in muscle fibres as you put your body under demand.

“This usually feels like muscular fatigue, stiffness, and soreness. Sometimes you might think this is a sign that something is wrong, or that you did something wrong to cause this. But this type of soreness is nothing to be alarmed about,” the portal adds.

On the other hand, sharp pain, throbbing, intense burning, or joint pain is not normal, and requires you to stop what you are doing and reassess, and possibly connect with a doctor or physical therapist.

Keep a journal
When you keep a workout journal, you have a great place to write down your goals and track your progress. Writing down your workouts in a journal gives you a visual record of what you have accomplished. On the days that you feel like you are stuck or you have hit a plateau, you can look back on how far you have come from where you started.

Expect Setbacks
Setbacks tend to catch us off guard. Although you can control some  obstacles, there are those that you cannot predict or prevent from happening. However, if you have a plan for how you will handle a setback, like an unexpected work trip, then you will know the best way to get back on track.