How to Build an Exercise Plan
What kind of exercise should I do?
You can’t do everything with one exercise. To get the best out of your exercise routine, it is important to do various activities over the week. It’s almost like eating a diet that only includes fruits. This is healthy, but it lacks many nutrients found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
A balanced exercise program
What is a balanced exercise program? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all Americans should include the following types of exercise in their week.
- One hundred fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per semaine (for example, 30 minutes each day on five days).
- Or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (or an equivalent combination of both).
- Two to three strength training sessions per week with at least 48 hours to allow muscles to recover.
- To recover.
- Balance exercises for older adults at high risk of falling
This may seem overwhelming. However, you can break down your workout into smaller pieces. Three 10-minute walks can help you reach your daily goal of 30-minute aerobic exercise.
Every workout should include a warm-up at the beginning and a cooling down at the end. Warm-ups should include gentle exercises such as marching in places to loosen your muscles and increase oxygen-rich blood flow to them. You can cool down by slowing down your activity for 5-10 minutes. Then, stretch to prevent stiffness.
Continue reading to find out more about the components of a balanced exercise plan. We also suggest a combination of exercises and activities to get you started.
Cardio exercise (aerobic)
Aerobic activities are often referred to as cardio or endurance activities. They can help you burn calories and reduce unwanted fat. These activities make your heart and lungs work harder. Think of running, walking, biking, and swimming.
Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your heart rate, breathing and allows more oxygen to reach your muscles. This improves cardiovascular endurance and helps you feel stronger. These activities are associated with a lower risk of many diseases and a longer life span.
What should you do?
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you should aim to do at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise per week and one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week. You can also choose to do vigorous activity for 10 minutes, which equals approximately 20 minutes of moderate activity. You can get additional health benefits, including weight loss, by increasing your weekly activity goal to five hours of moderate or two-and-a-half hours of vigorous. Each session should be at least 10 minutes long.
Walking is safe for all ages and fitness levels. It can be easily adjusted to a pace that suits you. Walking doesn’t cause pain or elevate your heart rate. You can increase the distance or time you walk and add resistance bands that tone your body.
These tips will help you get the most out of your walks.
Choose a safe area to walk. Sidewalks, parks trails, and athletic tracks at local schools or shopping centres are all good options.
Get a pair of good shoes. Choose supportively but flexible soles to cushion your feet. When shopping for shoes to walk in, comfort is key. When your feet are at their largest, shop at the end. Shoes with “breathable” uppers such as nylon mesh are best.
Dress for safety and comfort. Don’t wear heavier clothes if you standstill. Layer your clothes so that you can remove layers if you feel hot. Reflective vests and light-coloured clothing will help drivers see you.
Warm up and cool down for five minutes. Begin at a slower pace to warm up. Slow down as you cool down after your walk (even if it’s not too strenuous).
Practice good technique:
- Keep your pace steady and brisk. If you feel too tired to continue a conversation, slow down.
- Stand tall.
- Keep your head high so that your chin is straight up. Look 10-20 feet ahead.
- Lift your chest.
- Do not lift your shoulders.
- Point your toes straight ahead.
- Allow your arms to swing freely at your sides. To increase your speed, bend your elbows at 90 degrees and swing your arms from your waist to your chest.
- Place your heel on the ground, and then roll onto your ball foot, pressing down from your toes.
- Be comfortable. You can move faster if you take shorter steps than the longer ones.
Resistance training or strength, which often uses equipment like weight machines, free weights or resistance bands or tubing to build muscle and protect against bone loss, is also known as strength or resistance. It can also increase your body’s ratio between lean muscle mass and fat. It is also a good choice for your exercise routine.
Technically, strength training refers to resistance training. This is when your muscles are confronted with a stronger force, such as pushing against walls or lifting dumbbells. Muscles become stronger by lifting heavier weights and increasing resistance. Strength training is not only a great way to tone your body, but it also gives you the functional strength to perform everyday tasks like lifting groceries, climbing stairs or getting up from a chair to rush for the bus.
What should you do?
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, strengthening exercises should be done at least twice a week for all major muscle groups (legs and hips, backs, chests, abdomens, shoulders, and arms). Between sessions, you must wait no less than 48 hours. Research suggests that one set is sufficient, but two to three sets are better. Each exercise can be repeated eight to twelve times (reps). For strength training to be effective, your body requires at least 48 hours of recovery between sessions.
These safety tips will allow you to get the most out of your strength training.
Pay attention to form and not weight. Move smoothly through each exercise. Injuries can be caused by poor form. Experts recommend that you start with a very light or no weight when starting a strength training program. Focus on slow, controlled lifts and equally controlled descents to isolate a specific muscle group. By holding your body in a certain position and contracting and releasing the targeted muscles, you can isolate muscles.
Tempo is tempo. Timing helps you maintain control and not let momentum overtake strength gains. To illustrate, you could count to four as you lift a dumbbell. Then, hold it for two and then count to four again while you lower it back to its starting position.
Take a deep breath. Your blood pressure can rise during a workout, and it will increase if you hold you breathe while doing strength training. For steep decreases, inhale while you lift, push, pull, or pull. Inhale when you let go. You can count your tempo aloud to make sure you are not holding your breath. When you are talking, your breath cannot be held.
Maintain challenging muscles. Your exercise will determine the right weight. You should choose a sufficient weight to tire the target muscle or muscles in the last two repetitions (reps) but still allow you to keep good form. You can do more reps if you are unable to complete the required number. If it feels easy and you feel like you can do more reps, increase your weight. This should be approximately 1 to 2 pounds for the arms and 2 to 5 for the legs. Alternately you could add more reps to your training (up to three sets) and/or work out on additional days each week. Remember that you need to do as many reps as possible with the good form to add weight. The targeted muscles should feel exhausted by the end of the second set.
Give your muscles some time.
Small tears form in muscle tissue when you do strenuous exercises like strength training. These tears are not harmful: your muscles will become stronger from the glue of your tears. For muscles to heal, it is important to allow 48 hours between sessions. If you have done a hard full-body strength training session on Monday, wait at least until Wednesday to do it again. You can do aerobic exercise in the days between strength training. You can do partial-body strength training on Monday and Tuesday. Do upper-body exercise, lower body exercises on Tuesday, and lower body on Wednesday. Thursdays are for aerobic exercise.
As we age, our sense of balance often declines. Neuropathy, a side effect of diabetes or chemotherapy drugs, can further compromise balance. It can also cause tingling, pain and numbness in feet, vision problems, uncorrected vision problems, or lack of flexibility. Falls can lead to head injuries, permanent or temporary disabling injuries to bones and nerves, and even fatalities. Particularly hip fractures can cause serious health problems and impair independence.
Walking, strength training, and balance exercises can benefit older adults at high risk of falling. Yoga, tai-chi, and Pilates are all balance-enhancing activities. Balance can also be achieved through strength training that strengthens your core muscles and the back.
What should you do?
The guidelines recommend that older adults at high risk of falling should exercise balance and muscle strength three times per week. They also recommend walking at least 30 minutes twice a week.
Yoga and stretching are gentle exercises that can reverse the tightening and shortening of muscles due to age and disuse. You may be more vulnerable to injuries if your muscle fibers are shorter and stiffer. This can lead to back pain, balance problems, and other issues.
This can be countered by performing exercises that stretch and isolate elastic fibers around muscles and tendons. A stretched muscle can move more freely. This increases athletic performance, including a more efficient golf swing and tennis serve. It also improves functional abilities such as reaching, benting, and stooping for daily tasks. It can be a great way to get you moving each morning or unwind after a long day. Yoga is a great activity that combines stretching and relaxation with the ability to improve balance.
Experts no longer recommend stretching before exercising. Exercising for too long can reduce the muscle’s maximum contractile strength. Stretching before jumping can decrease your jump height. Experts recommend that you start your exercise by doing a warm-up, such as a walk or a sport-specific routine, such as practicing groundstrokes and serving tennis balls before starting. This improves blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles. Once your muscles are warm, pliable, and after five to ten minutes of exercise, you can start stretching. You can also do flexibility exercises after a workout.
What should you do?
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans do not recommend that flexibility exercises be included in your daily routine. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that flexibility exercises be done on the same days and at least twice per week as strength or aerobic activities for older adults.