An effective exercise program really depends on each individual and the goals of that individual. Obviously the exercise program of an Olympic athlete will be significantly different from an individual looking to lose a few pounds. Planning a fitness regime should not only take into account present fitness level, current health and age, but also interests and individual skills. Try to fit exercise into your daily routine (see our range of exercises at home), and if possible involve others as an aid to motivation and to make exercise more enjoyable. Taking up a sport is a great way to enjoy yourself while getting fitter.
Fitness For You
How often exercise is undertaken is again down to the needs of the individual, but it is recommended to undertake workouts throughout the week and avoid consecutive days of hard exercise.
Below is an example of the level of activity necessary for the average, healthy person to maintain a minimum level of overall fitness. Some popular exercises have been included as examples.
MUSCULAR STRENGTH : The ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time. This can be measured by various weightlifting exercises. The gym is the ideal place to work on muscular strength if you do not own you own weights.
example muscular strength : a minimum of two 20-minute sessions per week that include exercises for all the major muscle groups. There are some excellent resources available if you would like to find out more about weight training.
CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE : Cardiovascular (or cardio) exercise has numerous health benefits. In addition to burning calories and lowering your body fat, it will strengthen the heart and lungs. Long runs and swims are good examples of cardio exercise. See the Cardio page for more information on the effective cardio exercise.
Example Cardiovascular Exercise - at least three 20-minute bouts of continuous aerobic activity exercise each week. Popular aerobic conditioning activities include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing and skipping.
COOL DOWN : - a minimum of 5-10 minutes of slow walking, low-level exercise, combined with stretching.