Planning out a good fitness programme is key in promoting and maintaining good health. A fitness programme is a great way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts, targeting all muscle groups and not wasting your time. The right workout schedule will depend on a variety of factors, like your age, fitness level, goals, and any physical restrictions you may have. Whether your goal is to lose weight, get healthy, get in better shape, or all of the above, you will need these five components for a balanced exercise routine:
Aerobic fitness: This includes exercises ranging from running, speed walking, climbing stairs, cycling, jumping rope to high-intensity interval training. Also known as cardio exercises, these get our heart rate pumping and oxygenate our blood. They help in increasing our stamina, which in-turn works wonders for our heart health and overall wellness.
Recommended frequency: 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week; or a combination of moderate and vigorous.
Strength Training: Resistance machines at the gym, free weights, barbells, resistance bands, lunges, and squats qualify as strength exercises. These weight-bearing exercises play a crucial role in our overall health. Lifting weights increases muscle strength and bone density, tones our muscles, increases metabolism and also helps manage our weight. Exercising with just your body-weight can be a great starting point here.
Recommended frequency:Twice a week.
Flexibility and Stretching:
Stretching helps us increase our flexibility, which can make it easier to do many everyday activities. It helps improve the range of motion of our joints and promotes better posture. Regular stretching also helps relieve stress and tension, providing us with a sense of calm. You may want to incorporate a variety of stretches including runners stretch, standing side stretch, low lunge arch, the seated back twist etc. Make sure that your muscles are sufficiently warmed up before you intend to stretch.
Recommended frequency: After every exercise session
Core Strengthening: These target our core muscles – our abdomen, lower back, and pelvis and include exercises likeabdominal crunches, planks, hanging leg raises, oblique reaches etc. They are vital in protecting our back by bracing our spine, making it easier to do many daily activities. Strength in these muscles becomes increasingly important as we age.
Recommended frequency: Twice a week.
Balance Training: As we age, our balance begins to decline, which can lead to falls and fractures. Balance training helps us maintain the longevity of movement. You can try single leg lifts, rolling forearm side plank and leg swings plank with flying plane arms for starting off with the balance training routine.
Recommended frequency: Two to three times a week.
Whether you create your own fitness training programme or enlist the help of a personal trainer, your overall exercise plan should include these five elements. It isn’t necessary to fit each of these elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine will help your overall fitness.
The key is to achieve a balanced and comprehensive fitness routine. Start small, stay consistent!
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