What are your fitness goals?
When picking a workout routine, ask yourself whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, train for a race, or something else. Having clear goals can help you stay motivated and help your trainer create a customized fitness plan.
It is also important to think about the types of physical activities you enjoy most so that you can build a fitness program that you can sustain for the long term.
Which types of exercise should you include in your workout routine?
Cardio helps build your stamina, keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy, and boosts your mood. Examples of cardio exercises include any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, water aerobics, gardening, and vacuuming.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least the following every week:
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity
Vigorous activity makes you sweat or increases your heart rate within the target heart rate range. Target heart rate is the heart rate needed to improve cardiovascular health and is usually 50%-80% of your maximum heart rate.
If you are an advanced trainer, you can go for a high-intensity interval training that involves alternating short bursts of intense activity (about 30 seconds)—burpees, weights, and squats—with subsequent recovery periods (about 3-4 minutes) of lighter activity such as jogging or walking.
Strengthening your core is important, especially as you age. Core strength training can help improve balance, prevent age-related muscle and bone loss, and reduce the risk of falls.
Aim to include strength training to your fitness routine at least 2 times a week, with at least a 48-hour rest. Start small, use proper form, and don’t forget to do warm-ups and cool-down exercises to avoid injury.
Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights, and other equipment for strength training. Examples of strength training exercises you can include in your workout routine include pushups, pull-ups, crunches, leg squats, bridges, planks, and sit-ups.
Stretching improves the range of motion of your joints and may promote better posture. Ideally, you should stretch before any exercise. You should also include exercises such as yoga and Pilates to promote flexibility.
The best approach to a workout routine is to vary the types of exercises you do in your schedule. For example, you can go jogging for a day and then do strength training the next day, making targets for different muscle groups each time.