Everyone knows that exercise is good for their health and well-being – but is there a “perfect” workout routine out there that gives you the best bang for your buck?
The answer is yes… and it’s whichever workout routine you can stick to!
With workouts, personalization is key
Anyone who’s ever started a new workout plan knows that the biggest challenge isn’t starting the routine, it’s sticking with it. When creating your new workout plan, it’s important to recognize that effective workout planning requires a significant amount of personalization to ensure that you’re set up to follow through successfully.
During our initial fitness assessments at Copeman Healthcare, for example, we like to ask:
- Do you enjoy exercising inside or outside?
- Do you have access to any exercise equipment?
- Do you have any limitations or injuries?
- And most importantly, what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve with exercise?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you’ll find that certain workout routines will be better suited to you – and your needs, goals and preferences – than others.
Planning your workout routine
When planning a new routine, there are four types of fitness to incorporate into your plan:
- Endurance (or aerobic) exercises increase your breathing and elevate your heart rate. These activities can include indoor exercises (such as swimming or using cardio equipment like a treadmill, rowing machine or stationary bike) and outdoor exercises (such as running, cycling or hiking).
- Strength exercises increase your muscle strength. These activities range from fitness classes to weight training and can also include body weight or resistance band exercises.
- Balance exercises help improve your stability and prevent falls, which are common among older adults. They include core training and doing activities like yoga or Pilates.
- Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. These activities include regular stretching and/or many types of yoga.
Know your fitness goals
Since different workouts are designed to target your muscles and your body in different ways, it’s important to determine your goals first, and then select your desired workout.
If your fitness goal is to maintain your cardiovascular health and strength, for example, your workout plan could include regular spin classes, with either a hike or a run on the weekend, and three to four gym sessions per week. Aim to rotate your gym workouts through a combination of cardio and weights, followed by some stretching at the end. Routines can be changed quite frequently, especially if you’re training for a specific race or event.
One-size-fits-all doesn’t apply to workout routines
Don’t get frustrated if what works for your best friend, neighbour or boss doesn’t fit well within your lifestyle. Just because a certain routine is suited for one individual and his or her fitness goals doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone.
Working with a professional is a great way to ensure your routine is not just tailored to your goals, but also to your fitness level, preferences and physical abilities. Once you identify your goal, our job as Copeman Healthcare kinesiologists is to help build an appropriate workout routine that incorporates a variety of exercises, activities and weights and will also fit your lifestyle.
Safety, of course, is paramount. Whereas someone with musculoskeletal limitations is best to avoid certain exercises (such as high-impact aerobics or powerlifting, which both put pressure on joints), they can effectively substitute those activities with low-impact exercises like swimming. Swimming is an excellent whole-body exercise that is ideal for most people, but especially those with arthritis or musculoskeletal or weight limitations.
Find your ‘happy medium’
Once you’ve recognized the results you want to achieve and established some clear goals, it becomes much easier to create a workout plan that you can stick to. Exercise is all about striking a “happy medium” – you’re always more likely to achieve success if you can balance hard work with enjoyment.
If you’d like help planning a workout routine that’s right for you, contact your Copeman Healthcare kinesiologist to get started!