Last week, we talked about the benefits of even just a little bit of exercise on your health and lifespan. But once you’ve reached that 15-minute threshold, you’ll want to take your fitness to the next level with a diverse, challenging exercise regimen. Here’s how:
1. Cardiovascular/aerobic exercise
Cardio should be the cornerstone of your workout. Breaking a sweat this way improves your cardiovascular health and burns fat. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or if you’re trying to lose weight, shoot for 60-90 minutes three to four days a week.
Examples: power walking, running, bicycling, dance, kickboxing, power yoga
2. Strength training
Let’s take “strength training” to mean exercise that makes your bones and muscles stronger. This kind of training improves your muscle definition, protects against bone loss, can prevent disease, and burns fat. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least eight to 12 repetitions of eight to 10 exercises at a moderate intensity twice a week.
Examples: weight lifting, isometric body weight exercises (pushups, squats, etc.), climbing, power yoga
3. Agility and balance
You can accomplish this facet via many of the same strength training techniques described above. But many other simple exercises like these can help you focus specifically on your balance and agility.
Examples: weight lifting, power yoga, hopscotch, suicide runs, ladder jumps
When you’ve finished the bulk of your exercise routine, a great way to wind down from your workout is with flexibility exercises. These practices also help prevent injuries and sore muscles, and greater flexibility ensures that you’ll maintain an improved range of motion for years to come.
Examples: stretching, yoga