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Exercise - Get Active - Fitness Routine

Do you want to start getting into a fitness routine? Good on you! Get ready to live a healthier lifestyle and feel much better.

Fitness Routine

Do you want to start getting into a fitness routine? Good on you! Get ready to live a healthier lifestyle and feel much better. Physical activity has so many benefits such as it improves your coordination and balance, reduces the chance of getting chronic disease, helps boost self esteem, sleep patterns and helps to maintain or lose weight. When starting a new fitness program you could try following the below steps.

Evaluate your fitness capabilities

You may already know what your fitness levels are. But recording and assessing your fitness level can put you in a better position to get into an effective routine, you can then measure your progress against this. To test this, you could; 

  • Push-ups 
  • Resting heart rate
  • Vertical jump
  • Plank
  • Head turning
  • 10 minute walk

Create your fitness plan

It’s easier said than done that you will exercise everyday without a plan. But, having a plan will make it much simpler to stick to. When designing your program, consider the following.

What are your goals? Is the aim of exercising for you to lose weight or do you have other motivators for example, prepping for a triathlon. Setting clear goals will help you stay motivated and progress towards them. 

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Exercise – Get Active – Fitness Routine

         Fitness Routine

Fitness Routine FAQs

How Long Should You Exercise For?

You should aim to get around 150 minutes of a medium level of aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity.

What Are The Benefits Of Exercising?

There are so many benefits of exercising including; improves mental health, control your weight, improves mood, reduce the risk of heart disease and helps manage blood sugar levels. 

How Can I Measure My Fitness Levels?

If you are a beginner there are many ways to track and measure your fitness levels including; vertical jump, pushups, resting heart rate, 10 minute walk and the plank.

What Are Some Basic Exercises?

To name a few some basic exercises are;

  • Lunges
  • Squats,
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Planks
  • Situps
  • Press ups
Should I Track My Progress?

Yes, it is important to do this so that you know how far you’ve come and how close you are to reaching your goals. 

Exercise regularly: it is recommended that you get no less than 150 minutes of exercise a week. It can also be beneficial to spread this out throughout the week. The more you exercise the more benefits you will reap however, any amount of exercise will have a positive effect on your health. Mix up your workouts to target all muscle groups, this could include strength, resistance or cardio training. 

Progress gradually: if you are an exercise beginner, it’s best to start slow and progress gradually. If you have a medical condition or injury it may be advised to consult with a doctor before designing a new fitness programme. 

Add more activity into your everyday life: it can sometimes be difficult to fit a workout in around your schedule so try and plan this ahead of time so you can fit it in. Why not go for a walk on your work lunch break or walk on the treadmill whilst watching TV instead of sitting down or take the stairs instead of a lift. 

Keep it varied: doing so will ensure you don’t get bored of exercising, doing the same thing during every workout will quickly become tedious and you are more likely to skip workouts. Try to mix it up, different types of exercises include; 

Aerobic exercise

Often aerobic exercises are the basis for many training programmes. Your breathing and heart rate quickens and the oxygen within your blood maximises, as well as having an increased flow of blood in your muscles.

The more effective you are at aerobic exercise the more efficient your blood vessels, lungs and heart are at transporting oxygen around your body. It will also make everyday tasks easier and you will overcome more challenges. This type of activity uses larger muscle groups as well as increases the rate of your heart for example; water aerobics, dancing, swimming, biking, walking, jogging or even household chores such as; vacuuming, snow shoveling or leaf raking. 

Strength training

This is another important aspect of a fitness program. Strength training can help to increase muscle mass and bone strength, as well as maintaining and losing weight. Even with everyday activities strength training can assist and make it easier. Around twice per week try to aim to include two strength workouts into your routine targeting all of the main muscle groups.

The majority of gyms offer several free weights and resistance machines as well as other strength equipment. However, you do not need an expensive gym membership or lots of equipment to see results. You could even purchase a few free weights or dumbbells online that you could use at home. Or even create makeshift ones using water bottles or heavy items. In addition, resistance bands are inexpensive and can be stored anywhere. If you did not want to use weights you could always just do bodyweight exercises, such as leg squats, abdominal crunches, pull ups or pushups. 

Core exercises

Your abdominal muscles help to protect your back and link your lower and upper body movements. Therefore, having good core muscles is just as important as any other muscle and should be incorporated into your training routine. Your lower and upper body muscles will be trained and your spine will be effectively braced through core exercises. Core exercises include; situps, planks or bridges. 

Balance training

As you get older, your balance levels often reduce, so it is particularly important to practice balance exercises to try to maintain your balance. It helps to stabilise your ab muscles, exercises you could try are standing on one leg, tai chi or yoga.  

Stretching and flexibility

Being flexible has so many benefits for overall health therefore it’s good to include stretching movements into your routine. Stretching helps to improve your joint motion and promotes good posture as well as relieving tension and stress. After exercising, consider stretching whilst your muscles are warmed up and your body is responsive to stretching. If you are wanting to stretch prior to a workout try to warm your body up a little bit first by moderately exercising or walking for a few minutes.

Cover all areas

Whether you have a personal trainer or creating your own training programme, it’s best to try and include most of the above elements in your routine. Try to incorporate stretching, flexibility, balance training, core exercises, strength and aerobic exercises to promote a healthy active lifestyle. 

Gather your equipment

You may begin by just buying some fitness shoes and clothing such as a gym top, leggings or shorts. All clothing and shoes should be suitable for the chosen activity for example, if you plan on running you may want shoes that are lightweight with shock absorption. Whereas, if you were planning on boxing, you would also want lightweight shoes but with little grip. 

If you are planning on buying home gym equipment, select something that is practical and that you will enjoy using. Before doing so you may want to test out select equipment within a gym prior to buying your own. Fitness apps or trackers can also be beneficial to use to track calories consumed, how many steps you’ve taken or the amount of hours you sleep each night. 

Get started

Now you are prepped and ready to go. When creating your exercise programme, consider the following tips;

Be creative: include several activities in your workout routine such as going to the gym, pilates or going for a bike ride, this will keep you motivated. You could even go for a family weekend hike or take an evening salsa class, find activities that you enjoy doing and you will notice that it won’t even feel like exercising. 

Progress gradually: give yourself enough time to warm yourself up and then cool down this could simply be a walk or light stretching. Then continue with the workout at a pace that suits you then gradually build upon this when your stamina, strength and overall fitness improves. 

Be flexible: it’s important to not be too strict on yourself and one day if you’re not completely feeling up to working out then that’s okay. Or, on days like these you could always swap your planned workout for a more moderate form of exercise then exercise more intensely when you are feeling up to it. 

Listen to how your body feels: take note of how you are feeling, if you are in pain, have nausea, feel dizzy or short breath then it may be time to take a break. These could be signs of pushing your body too much and could result in injury.

If you need, split up your workouts: if you do not have enough time to fit in one long workout, why not incorporate several different activities throughout the day instead. Frequent short sessions have multiple aerobic benefits also, some exercise is better than nothing. 

Track your progress

Continue to track and measure your progress, this way you will know how far you have come and the improvements you have made. You may be entirely happy with the progress you have made. Or, you may have noticed that you hit a plateau therefore, you will maybe need to increase the intensity of your workout, again do this gradually. If you get a loss of motivation, try mixing up your workouts or set yourself some new goals. As well as this, going to a fitness class or working out with a friend may also help. 

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