As we kick off a new year, many will set fitness goals to get healthier. Whether it’s losing weight, gaining strength, or improving endurance – setting reasonable targets and sticking to them can lead to life-changing results over time. CMC Primary Care doctors say “Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” Still, starting a new workout routine can feel overwhelming.
Whether you’ve ran 3 marathons and are looking for a way to switch it up or you’ve never been into a gym, it’s completely normal to not know where to begin. All the noise online claiming X type of workout is way better than Y or Z doesn’t help either! The good news is that building a workout routine that works for you isn’t as complex as you might think.
The best workout routine is one that you will stick to. Find a few ways to get your body moving and do them regularly. If you can commit to being consistent with a workout you enjoy, it will get you much further than pushing off the workout you can’t stand. Once you find some forms of exercise you really enjoy, building the perfect routine is as simple as these five steps:
Slow and steady wins the race! Your fitness level should not be a zero to 100 goal. Slow and steady progression allows your body to safely get stronger and more in shape without risking injury or burn out. You’ll only achieve a goal of 100 push-ups without stopping if you can do five with perfect form first. If you treat your body well, your workout routine will be something that lasts you a lifetime, so don’t be in a rush to get to the finish line!
Plan to mix it up!
A well-rounded workout routine should include the five key components of fitness: aerobic exercise, strength training, mobility, and rest and recovery. That sounds like a laundry list of activities, but a lot of these components can be combined into a single workout. Take CrossFit for instance.
CrossFit gyms are a popular fitness staple along the grand strand. These classes usually consist of 45–60-minute functional training, high-intensity style workouts. From ball slams and box jumps to push-ups and bicep curls these classes will likely get your heart rate lifted and your muscles shaking. In one class you’ll get in some strength training, aerobic activity and mobility work.
If CrossFit isn’t for you, there’s plenty more group fitness options that offer a mixture of those key elements. Barre, for example, is a lower impact, ballet-inspired workout that uses light weights and higher repetitions to train strength, endurance, mobility, and sometimes aerobic fitness. Yoga is another way of getting in mobility, strength training, and aerobic exercise as well.
If you prefer to workout solo or in a gym, a great way to ensure you’re hitting all five areas of fitness is by following a workout plan. An example might look like this:
Monday: Strength Training
Tuesday: Aerobic focus
Wednesday: Mobility work
Thursday: Strength Training
Friday: Rest and Recover
Saturday: Aerobic focus
Sunday: Rest and Recover
Based on the workouts you plan to do, you should have the right equipment to make it possible. If you plan to do more crossfit, shoes with more support are key. If you’re more of a runner, lighter, more breathable shoes will be your go-to. If you plan on building an at-home yoga practice, a yoga mat is a staple to start off. If your medical needs require additional care or monitoring during exercise, check with your doctor to make sure you’re equipped with the proper tools before beginning any workout.
Use your fitness to your advantage
While you are putting in all that work to improve your fitness, let your improved strength, health, and stamina do some work for you! Regular exercise helps control weight, combats health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, and improves balance and mobility. Exercise also releases endorphins that make you feel happier and relaxed. Beyond its many health perks, staying active makes daily activities easier – you’ll have an easier time climbing stairs, lifting kids or groceries, doing yard work, and more. Being consistently active is one of the best things you can do for your health, energy, and daily functioning. Let all that hard work you’re doing in the gym have positive impacts on your life outside it!
Invite your friends to the gym or to a workout class and make it a healthy happy hour! Be kind to yourself, acknowledge all of your small wins, take time to rest and recover and enjoy the many benefits of consistent physical activity!
So, whether you join one of the many gyms along the grand strand, attend a local run club, find your zen at a yoga studio, or decide to keep a set of dumbbells in your living room – there are plenty of ways to workout. As long as you find a workout or two you can commit to practicing consistently and do your best to hit all five components of a well-rounded fitness routine, you’re sure to see positive results in the new year.
Conway Medical Center is Your Partner on Your Journey to Better Health
The studies are undeniable: Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. In addition to reducing your risk for heart attacks or stroke, it can also help you manage chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure.
For decades, Conway Medical Center has served the community as a beacon of quality health care. We’re interested in treating the whole individual. With services ranging from wound care to weight loss we take our commitment to the community seriously.
Want to learn more about how to establish a solid exercise routine? Need to know more about easy exercises for beginners? Talk to your primary care doctor for more information.
If you don’t have a primary care physician, you can find one affiliated with Conway Medical Center by checking out our primary care page.