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Making Sense Out of Workout Recommendations

Updated on May 13, 2010

If you’ve thought about starting a exercise program, you’ve probably looked for information about what exercises to do, how much weight to lift, how much time to spend on the treadmill, etc. Have you noticed that it’s incredibly hard to get a standard answer? Usually, you get many answers. And the more people you ask, the more diverse the answer becomes. The problem is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. There are too many variables that make each person’s needs and goals unique.

Everyone from fitness enthusiasts to celebrities to personal trainers will recommend the program they follow because that’s what works for them. Through trial and error, I’m sure, they have found what best suits their needs. If you don’t have the same goals as them, why would you follow their workout?

Even if you have trained with more than one personal trainer, you have probably been told conflicting information. That’s because personal trainers 1) recommend various things depending on what certification they have and 2) there isn’t one single way to get results. Now, of course, there are guidelines. You just have to make sure you are following the ones that are appropriate for your health and your fitness goals.

Here are two very basic rules that everyone should be following:

Get Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardio helps strengthen your heart and lungs and is essential for preventing heart disease. Ten-minute bouts of walking, interspersed throughout the day, have been shown to improve cholesterol and blood pressure. So, don’t worry if you have read that you have to do 30-minutes a day. Just move as much as you can!

Lift Weights – Resistance training is crucial for maintaining your metabolism, muscles, and bone density.  Perform exercises that use your body weight as resistance like push ups, squats, lunges, crunches, planks, bridges, and supermans.  That way you don’t have to worry about how much weight to use.

Invest in one or two sessions with a certified personal trainer to create a program tailored specifically for you.  Skip the online workout programs.  Most of them don’t truly analyze your needs, health status, and fitness history. 

It’s easy to get information overload when searching for exercise routines.  The most important key to remember is to chose what you enjoy, what makes you feel good.  No exercise program will yield results if you don’t consistently do it.

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