“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch.” ~Mary Kay Ash
According to recent research, one half hour to one hour of exercise each day is the proper fitness protocol for weight loss and overall body maintenance ( Evans, M., M.D., www.youtube.com). It reduces degenerative diseases, slows the aging process, reduces weight, tones and firms the body and more. With this in mind, my current weekly fitness routine includes half hour to forty five minute sessions each day and consists of three components: cardiovascular exercises, stretching and Yoga and resistance exercises using quick and efficient interval training. Performed strategically over the course of one week, and in conjunction with a sound nutritional program, this is the perfect equation for a lean figure and a fresh body maintenance workout. You don’t even need a gym to get started.
Interval training and walking are two of my favorite cardiovascular exercises. I think walking everyday is a great practice for both weight loss and body maintenance. I advocate using a cheap pedometer purchased from any sporting goods store or even your grocery store. Using a pedometer, you can secretly add in exercise to your daily schedule. If you are looking to tone up and maintain your weight, simply walk 2,000 steps, daily. To lose weight, aim to rack up 5,000 or more steps. Do this every day. Interval training is also a fabulous way to strengthen the heart and the muscles. I will address this concept in greater depth, later in this article.
Stretching and Yoga are fabulous ways to train the muscles. Yoga and stretching exercises elongate the muscles rather than shorten them, this improves flexibility and helps prevent injury. Yoga is one of the best ways I’ve found to train the muscles for elongation while building strength in the body and preventing it from becoming injured. There’s more. Yoga will also strengthen the back, as well as the core of the body. This will create the perfect body maintenance program to support activities of daily living. The best way to get your Yoga exercise is in three weekly sessions using exercise videos. I love all “Yoga Zone” for beginners videos (go to www.amazon.com and search for “Yoga Zone”).
Interval Resistance Training Exercises.
How can you supercharge your resistance training workout and get your heart into top shape in a hurry? Resistance training with cardio intervals. To perform this combination, I use my treadmill, an egg timer and a light set of weights (5-8 pounds). Next, I’ll set my sights on one half hour training session twice or three times each week. To begin the workout, set the timer for one minute intervals. Walk at a brisk pace on the floor or a treadmill (or any other cardiovascular equipment) for a five minute warm up. Next perform one exercise for each large muscle group for one minute, every two minutes. The large muscle groups include: biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, chest and legs. Aim to complete each exercise for 15-20 repetitions and walk or jog at a brisk pace in between. When you’ve completed a full cycle of exercises, slowly walk for 10 minutes to cool down.
How Will This Routine Benefit Your Life?
This exercise routine can be performed in a weekly rotation. To utilize the full benefits of cardiovascular, strength and endurance, add variation to each section of the routine. For example, use interval walking by hiking outside or trail walking for variety. Use a new video for resistance training and interval training every 6 to 8 weeks (search for your topic of choice on www.amazon.com. I like any of the Crunch series). Also, vary your Yoga routine by challenging yourself with new videos from the Yoga Zone or exercises you find online (try www.prevention.com). By varying your fitness levels, you can reshape your body for the better. Enjoy a slimmer, toned physique using this easy method which I hope you find fits effortlessly into each day.