Coming up with a health and fitness program that works for you is not always easy. After all, everyone is an individual, with different strengths, weaknesses and goals, so it’s hard to follow any form of “one size fits all” approach when it comes to your personal fitness and health. To get you started on the right path, here is a guide that offers some helpful advice in devising the right approach to health and fitness that works for you.
What Are Your Health and Fitness Goals?
Before you can begin to formulate a health and fitness plan that achieves the desired results for you personally, you first need to spend some think thinking about what you hope to accomplish. To help with this, you could answer the following questions:
- Are you training for a particular event or sport?
- Is the goal to generally get in (and stay in) shape?
- Improved cardiovascular fitness?
- Increased energy levels and endurance?
- A desire to lose or gain weight?
- Are you combating a health issue?
- Do you need to recover from an injury or prevent injury?
These are just some questions to get you started and thinking about what your goals are and the desired outcomes.
It Can Take Patience and Experimentation
This is particularly true when it comes to developing a fitness routine. While you might have certain fitness goals in mind, you will likely have to tweak what type of exercises you are doing over time to achieve the best results.
For example, if you discover a certain exercise isn’t delivering what you wanted or expected, switch that exercise out with something different and see how that goes.
You also have to remember that the human body very quickly gets used to certain types of exercises and it’s very easy to plateau. Mixing up the exercises keeps things interesting and also stimulates the muscles for a better response.
Don’t be rigid with your exercise routine. Instead, be prepared to alter it and adapt as necessary to realise your goals.
5 Elements Of a Well-Rounded Fitness Routine
When it comes to exercising, ideally you’ll want to incorporate the following 5 elements as regular components of your fitness regime for a balanced approach.
#1 – Aerobic Fitness
Aerobic activity is designed to give the cardiovascular system a boost as well as being an effective way to burn calories and excess fat. The more aerobic exercise you do, the more oxygen the cells of your body will receive due to increased and improved blood flow. Aerobic exercise also boosts the metabolism, helping you to maintain your ideal weight.
Aerobic exercise includes things like power walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or any activity that really gets the heart and lungs working harder.
#2 – Core Exercises
The core of the body encompasses the muscles in the abdomen, lower back and pelvic region. Having a strong core protects your entire body and increases your overall strength level. You won’t look or feel physically fit without working on your core.
Some exercises you can do to bolster your body’s core include situps, planking, bridges, standing ab workouts, fitness ball exercises and more.
#3 – Strength Training
Strength training to build muscle strength and increase muscle mass also helps to strengthen the bones and joints as well. Working out the muscles with strength training leads to a more shaped and toned physique with muscles that are more defined. It’s both good for your overall fitness and is aesthetically pleasing too.
Hitting the gym on a regular basis and working with free weights or weight machines is the easiest and most effective way to get into some strength training that works.
#4 – Flexibility
It’s all well and good to be working the muscles out to get in shape but you’re not going to feel great if you lose your flexibility as a result. Therefore, it’s vital that you include exercises and stretching in your routine that promote flexibility and suppleness. Flexibility through stretching is also beneficial for the mobility of the joints as well as helping to prevent injuries when you are working out.
Get into the habit of performing some stretching exercises before and after exercise to maintain flexibility. If you’re unsure of what exercises to perform, then reference videos on YouTube for ideas.
#5 – Balance Training
Maintaining good balance is important at any age and it’s something that can suffer as a person increases in age. Good balance helps prevent falls and incurring injuries as a result.
Improving the core muscles can assist with balance, as will flexibility and strength training. You can also participate in exercises that particularly target balance, such as performing stretches while standing on one leg. Tai chi can also improve a person’s balance overall.
Again, reference some videos or blogs for exercises targeting balance.
Maintain a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
Of course, health and fitness is not all about getting some exercise in. What you feed your body is just as important, if not more so. No one can expect to be completely fit and healthy while neglecting to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. This includes what you eat as well as what you drink.
A good diet can vary from person to person depending on individual requirements and so can portion sizes. There are numerous online resources available to help you to establish a good nutrition program.
Don’t skip meals, avoid snacking between meals as much as possible and always remember to drink plenty of fresh water. Reduce your intake of sugar, salt, processed foods, alcohol and unhealthy fats.
Take the time to determine the right blend of exercise and nutrition plan to achieve the best results for you as an individual and also be prepared to make some changes to what you’re doing if you’re not achieving the results you hoped for. Create a health and fitness plan, stick to it for a while and tweak it where necessary.
Ashley writes the articles and posts for MyMedici and other websites. He has a background in digital marketing and provides services through www.websitestrategies.com.au and www.ashleybryan.com.au. He lives on the Sunshine Coast, QLD with his family.