Fitness Workout Routine for Everyone

Next to good nutrition and good sleep hygiene, exercise is the most important component to your overall health. Mayo clinic likens exercise to a wonder drug that will ward off life threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity. It will also give you more energy, slows down the aging process, and lifts your mood.To top that this wonder drug is very cheap and easily available. All you really need to start a fitness workout routine is a good walking shoes.

As important as exercise is to our health and happiness, most of us need a lot of encouragement and incentives to start exercising. But human beings are made for an active life style. That is why a sedentary life style makes us sick and unhappy. Until a little over 100 years ago humans were very active just going about living their daily lives. We didn't have machines so we used our bodies to do the hard work of living such as chopping wood, building a house, farming and walking long distances. Movement is really our true nature. That is why once we get motivated and start an exercise routine we become healthier and happier.

Just 30 minutes of walking everyday will do wonders
Just 30 minutes of walking everyday will do wonders

Fitness Workout for Optimal Health and Well Being

According to Mayo Clinic workout program should include five types of exercises for optimum fitness and well being. Here they are as follows;

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Strength training
  • Core stability
  • Flexibility
  • Balance

This may look intimidating but not to worry because one exercise that you do such as running and walking may include two or three of these types of exercises. Walking for instance is aerobic as well as balance. You don't have to do all of these 5 types of exercises every day. Doing strength training 2 to 3 times a week for 10- 20 minutes to start and then increasing it slowly to 20 to 30 minutes is quite satisfactory.

Cardio Samba Workkout; Fun! Fun! Fun!

Aerobic Exercise: As the name implies uses oxygen to release energy from the muscles. This is the most important exercise you will do. Here are the health benefits you will gain.

  • Aerobics will improve the health of your vital organs such as your heart and lungs and strengthen your blood vessels.
  • It builds your endurance and stamina therefore helps you live a fuller life
  • makes your heart muscles stronger
  • burns calories therefore helps you loose weight
  • helps control appetite
  • reduces arthritis pain
  • helps you sleep better.
  • This is the exercise that lifts your mood and make you happier, fights depression gives you more confidence. Endorphins are the hormones released during exercising and are responsible for the high that you feel.
  • so it is not hard to see that it will also increase your life span.

You have a variety of fun activities to choose from so every personality type can find what they like. Some examples of aerobic exercise are walking, dancing, biking, swimming, skipping rope, running, rowing, skating.

Aerobics is the easiest to fit in your life style. You can always squeeze a 20 minute walk some times during the day, use the bike instead of the car to run an errand, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you can afford it an exercise bike or a treadmill will be very convenient to have at home. So there is no excuse for not doing it.

If you are a beginner start out slow. Always begin an aerobic exercise with a warm up of 5 to 10 minutes. Warm up could be jogging in place. Do a light stretch if you feel stiff. End your exercise with a cool down by stretching your calf muscles, upper thighs, hamstring, lower back, and chest. Cool down should be about 10 minutes. Start off doing your aerobics 3 times a week and build it up. Your goal should be 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic conditioning every day.

To get the heart benefit from aerobics you need to exercise at an intensity that you feel your breathing has increased, you are sweating lightly, feel some strain in your muscles, can speak in brief sentences but can't sing,and you have reached your target heart rate.

Here is how you calculate your target heart rate zone.

  • Subtract your age from 220. This will be your maximum heart rate. For example if you are 40 your maximum heart rate will be 220 -40=180. Then you calculate your lower and higher target heart rate. You will multiply 180 by .60 for your lower limit which is equal to 108. Multiply 180 by .85 for your upper limit which will be 153. So while exercising take your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside edge of your wrist and press gently and count your pulse for 10 seconds. multiply the number you get by 6 to determine the heart bit per minute. If it is between 108 and 153 you are on the right track.

There is a variety of interesting and fun aerobic exercise. If you get bored change and try something else. You can also mix it up such as doing interval training. which is walking and jogging at intervals. This exercise not only breaks the monotony but also helps burn more calories without too much strain.

Water Aerobics Exercise

In Strength Training Proper form and technique is important

Strength Training; Involves using free weights, your own body, resistance bands, or weight training equipment to workout and increase muscle mass and strength. Here are some of its benefits.

  • builds and strengthens your muscles, tendons and ligaments thus decreasing the risk of injury.
  • Increases bone density and decreases the risk of contracting osteoporosis.
  • contributes to better balance, coordination, and agility.
  • Increases lean muscle mass, which raises metabolic rate and help to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Those with chronic lower back pain find they experience less pain.
  • Daily activity such as carrying groceries up the stairs, lifting children, mowing the lawn becomes easier.
  • Can reduce the risk of depression and insomnia
  • can improve your glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, decreasing the chance of contracting diabetes.

During strength training the order in which you work muscles are important. the sequence is large before small, multiple joints before single joints, and higher before lower intensity.

weight training 20 to 30 minutes two three times a weak is quite sufficient for most people.

investing in a set of weights or resistance bands will be a good addition to your home gym equipments and might be worth your while considering all the health benefits you get from this workout.

Here are some safety tips before you begin your resistance training.

  • Always use proper form. So a fitness trainer or some trained individual should show you what the proper form is for each equipment. You could also find good instructions in books and videos.
  • Use smooth, steady motion when using free weights, Don't use quick jerky motion.
  • Don't lock your joints. Keep your knee and elbow slightly bent.
  • If you have had hip or knee repair or replacement avoid lower body weight lifts.
  • Stop if you feel pain. Mild soreness is normal. But any sharp pain, sore joints, pulled muscles, and joint swellings are signs that you have overdone it.

Resistance training can be done in 5 ways and they are a follows;

  • Your own body: Push ups, sit ups, climbing stairs are some examples of weight training using the weight of your own body.
  • Free weights: refers to using bar bells and dumb bells. When you are using free weights your movement should always be slow and deliberate. If you experience pain in your joints reduce the amount of weight or do a different exercise.
  • Weight training machines: Works different parts of your body with controlled weights. Most fitness gyms will have various resistance machines to choose from to work muscles in each of the major muscle groups.Some have stacked weights, others hydraulic components, and still others bendable plastic parts. Form is very important in using these machine. Some one who is trained should show you the proper form and how to use them so as to avoid injury.
  • Resistance bands or tubes: Elastic cords that produce weight like resistance when pulled. They are usually color coded according to the strength of their resistance. They are very inexpensive. If you can't afford free weights or joining a gym resistance bands are good alternatives.
  • plyometrics; This is the most advanced of all the strength training exercises. You see it in sports such as basketball, volleyball, sprinting, football, and other activities that require fast and propelling motion. You need a high degree of fitness to engage in this activity or else you will easily be pron to injury.

Pilates Workout

Core Stability Training: A type of strength training that works the center of the body. The center of gravity for your body is the area around the trunk. It is the core of your body joining your upper and lower parts. When you have a strong and stable core the 29 muscles in your abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and hips work well together. This gives you increased balance, controlled movement and stability. So a strong core will benefit you in the following ways;

  • Good balance, stability,and controlled movement. Core muscles are used to reach up or bend down.
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Prevents or improves poor posture and lower back pain

Any fitness exercise that uses all the muscles of the body will do just fine. Core exercises should be done three times a week or every other day. Instructions from a trained fitness trainer will be very helpful. He or she can pinpoint the various core muscles and make sure you are using the correct muscles. Any exercise that uses the trunk without support such as push ups and pull ups are core workouts. There are many ecercise DVDs out there to show you the various other core exercises such as the following.

  • Fitness ball workouts; These big balls exercises the deep core muscles of your abdomen and back. Also known as stability balls they not only work on the trunk muscles they help with balance and flexibility. So if you work with this balls you will satisfy the requirement for three types of exercises. When working with these balls make sure there is a balance between your abdominal muscles and trunk muscles. If either your abdominal or back muscles are stronger you may be leaning forward or backward.and you may even develop pain.
  • Pilates; low impact fitness training technique developed by Joseph Pilates in 1920s. it is specifically designed to strengthen the core. There are pilates exercise machines that can be used. But the floor exercises are well designed to stabilize and strengthen the core. Pilates emphasizes doing very few moves with extremely precise repetitions.

Pilates has become very popular and you can find classes everywhere in health clubs, senior centers, community centers, and gyms. Before you commit to pilates you can get a DVD of one and see if it is something you want to incorporate into your exercise program.

  • Floor exercises; Some common exercises are squats, step-ups, and push ups.

When doing core exercises focus on technique and not on repetition. perform the exercise in a slow smooth manner. Your breathing should be slow and steady. When your muscles start to fatigue stop and change exercises. The goal is to gradually work up to doing each exercise continuously for three minutes.

Yoga: It looks like fun!

Flexibility Exercise; It is the ability to move your joints through their full range of motion. flexibility declines with age but can be regained with appropriate exercise. Regularly stretching muscles through good flexibility exercises will make daily tasks such as lifting children, bending to pick up something, and walking fast much easier. Here are more physical benefit you gain;

  • Relaxes your body.
  • improves circulation
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves coordination
  • makes other activities easier
  • Reduces your risk of muscle and joint injury

Examples of flexibility exercises are regular stretches, yoga, tai chi, swimming,

  • Yoga; is a body, mind, spirit discipline originating from the Hindu religion in India. In the West it has evolved to becoming a flexibility exercise regimen. It involves stretches and poses while breathing deeply. There are various types of yoga. Hatha yoga is the most common. it is a gentle form of yoga that combines deep breathing with a series of body stretches that leads one into the other. Asthanga yoga is fast paced and is used to build flexibility, strength and stamina. Birkham yoga is for people who are looking for challenges. It is done in rooms that can be heated up to 100 degrees. some of the benefits of yoga are to reduce anxiety, strengthen muscles. lowers blood pressure and improves breathing.Yoga classes are very common and you can also use the many books and DVDs that are available to learn how to do these exercise.
  • Tai Chi; A series of gentle graceful movement originating in China. It is a type of martial arts that attempts to harmonize the inner and outer world. It improves flexibility and balance. Tai chi classes are easily available in community centers, health clubs, martial arts schools etc...
  • Alexander technique; is more than one hundred years old. It is a set of techniques you can use to relieve chronic pain, prevent injury, and enhance performance. the technique is not a set of exercises. it is a way becoming more aware of your movements to improve coordination and move and exercise intelligently.There are qualified Alexander technique teachers who are certified that one can consult for correct technique.
  • Regular stretches;Stretching and flexibility exercise are an integral part os any good exercise program There are many kinds of stretches that we all know of or we can look them up in books and DVDs. The video on the side bar has a nice set of stretches for a cool down. Some of these stretches we can do anywhere. It is a good idea to stop and stretch many times during the day as we go about our business. This is especially important for those who sit at a desk all day doing repetitive motion.

Outer and Inner Balance

Balance Exercise; here is the definition of balance by the Mayo clinic. It is your ability to control your center of gravity over your base of support. They go on to say balance is related to your strength, inner ear balance, vision and sensory input from your feet, as well as muscles and tendons. Balance is developed during childhood when one learns to walk and ride the back. But as anything else if you don't use them you lose them.

Balance exercises are especially important for older adults because as we age our ability to balance gets weaker and weaker. This is more so if we don't exercise and have lead a sedentary life. As our balance weakens we become prone to falls and injury. Below you will find some benefits of balance exercises.

  • helps strengthen and maintain your balance.
  • helps reduce falls
  • improve coordination
  • helps you be more confident in your stability and your feelings of security
  • combined with resistance training, it helps you build muscles around joints making them more stable and therefore making your balance more steady.
  • If you do balance exercises you will have more mobility as you age.

Some examples of balance exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine easily are as follows;

  • Walking; is one of the best balance exercises. Brisk walks for at least 30 minutes a day will strengthen your leg muscles and improves your balance tremendously. The more you walk the better. If you can build up your walking routine to one hour every day it will pay off in so many ways. Every time you are walking you are practicing balance by catching yourself when you slip, making quick turns, step over a hump, and just general being aware of your surrounding,
  • Tai chi; This is another exercise with dual benefits. It is good for flexibility as well as balance. Its gentle movement aliens your energy with your surrounding. It takes a lot of coordination and balance to do Tai chi well.
  • Other simple exercises you can do anywhere at any time are, standing on one foot and then the other, Standing up and then sitting down without using your hands, balance walk is another. You do it by putting your heels in front of your toes. (caution:To avoid falling and injuring yourself, when you do these exercises make sure you have something or someone you can hold on to in case you lose your balance.)

For additional information on exercise program for optimal health check out American College of Sports Medicine. Another Websites is US Department of health.

This hub is essentially a book review for the book "Mayo Clinic Fitness for Everybody" I found this book to be an excellent guide to a fitness workout for maximum health and well being. It gives you the details of every kind of workout that are available. The book also gives you the tools of how to design a fitness workout plan that fits you perfectly and gives you tips and strategies on how to keep motivated.

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Comments 4 comments

NoRR4Me profile image

NoRR4Me 6 years ago

Wow, what a nice Hub and it's very thorough. You did a very nice job Lelane.

lelanew55 profile image

lelanew55 6 years ago Author

Thank you NoRR4Me. I worked hard on this one. I am glad you like it.

Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Excellent information - I rated this one up. I do a lot of different exercises but I have never tried yoga - thanks for explaining the different types. I'll have to put it on my to do list.

lelanew55 profile image

lelanew55 6 years ago Author

Thank you for your kind words and thank you for reading this hub, Patti. I am glad you find the info. on yoga useful and I appreciate that you rated this hub up for me. It was a lot of work.

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