We may have the desire to make a healthy change to our fitness but we do not often know where to start, we often take clues from what other people are doing – we think that if it worked for them, maybe it will work for us. While looking at other people’s successes can be a good way to get motivated, it can also be overwhelming and confusing because there are so many different approaches to exercise. So how do you know which is right for you?
Creating your own plan is simpler than it may sound. There are three basic components to an effective exercise routine:
Activities that increase heart rate,
Strength training to build muscle,
Down time to rest your body.
To create your personal plan, simply choose activities that satisfy each of the three areas. And, most importantly, for each activity that you try, You ,may chose to ask yourself two simple questions:
Do you enjoy it?
Does it make your body feel good?
It’s important to avoid exercise that you feel like you should be doing but you hate it. There are so many formats and modes out there to choose from, so you might as well pick the ones that make you feel energized, strong, and excited to come back.
Here are the building blocks of an effective fitness routine and some specific activities that you may want to incorporate:
Heart-pumping activity – 150 minutes each week. If you work out 5 times each week, each session should be 30 minutes. You don’t necessarily have to go full-throttle cardio; the aim is to elevate your heart rate and make you sweat out (but you shouldn’t feel totally winded afterwards).
Strength training – twice per week. This means two total-body circuits, or if you follow a specific muscle training split, make sure to hit each major muscle (quads, hamstrings, calves, back, biceps, chest, shoulders, triceps, core) at least twice each week.
Rest (or gentle activity) – 1-2 days of the week. Taking a break will allow your body to repair and recover. Results occur during rest, not work, so it’s important to rest days into your routine.
Options: You may chose to take a long bath, book a massage, foam roll, try some gentle yoga stretches, anything that you think will energize you for the following week.