It’s not uncommon to hear about fitness regimens marketed to achieve your hot summer bod or prepare for that wedding vacation around the corner. The key to a healthy fitness routine revolves around consistency, and setting attainable goals. On a global scale, about ¼ adults aren’t physically active.1 The minimum recommended amount of activity is 150-300 min of moderate aerobic physical activity or 75-150 min of vigorous aerobic physical activity. To some, a fitness routine might be completely foreign. Hence, starting with something like a walk, or challenging their step count on a daily basis may be a good place to start. For more athletic individuals looking to keep their momentum,going for a bicycle ride or a run to really push limits and test cardiorespiratory extremes, could give them that kick they need.
Before defining what a healthy fitness regimen is, it could be summarised in one word - motion. Once you set your routine in motion and stick to it, results will follow. That said, it is important not to preoccupy yourself with results. First, learn to enjoy the process, (preferrably with the biggest smile), because that’s how you know it’s working. The gains will follow! Muhammad Ali was asked how many sit ups he did to prepare for a fight. His reply: “I don't count my sit ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that's when I start counting, because that's when it really counts.”2
"The best workout routine ever" clickbait titles are endless on the web and at your local gyms. The best workout routine is one that works for you, and that you can stick to. These regimens are all body type dependant and goal oriented. Being selective is heavily based on where you're at in your fitness journey and where you want to get to. If you're just looking to slim down and reduce blood pressure, incorporating a long walk into your day and counting your steps is always a good option to start with. If cardiorespiratory related issues have been lingering for a long time, you might want to start incorporating exercise(slowly!) and find a way to make fitness a more integral part to your life. With all these variables in mind, deciding on a routine that is right for you takes some trial and error. So be patient with yourself! With the right tools and determination, you are on track to change, for the benefit of your health.
Example of a healthy fitness regimen
A healthy fitness regimen is to specific to each individual and their health needs. For instance, if your main concern is blood pressure and cardiovascular health, cardio could be a beneficial addition to your lifestyle. If you're just looking for drastic change in overall body composition, you may want to try out a cross fit routine. Whether it be through martial arts or group fitness classes. Keeping in mind that youre routine incorporates a highly dynamic workout focusing on aspects such a lifting, cardio, and dynamic pushing. A good routine gives you result inside and outside of the gym, not only for the calories burn in and outside the gym, but also the mental relaxation felt afterwards.
To build on this more aspects of a healthy fitness regimen revolve around the muscle groups targeted and the varying intensities at which you target them. The goal is to not over work any areas and cause strain, but also not underworking them to cause an imbalance between opposing muscle groups and the resulting way that your body functions. Combining both explosive lifts and those slow burn exercises is a great way to achieve this. It is the combination of fitness activity that leads to a healthy workout and a cumulatively positive effect afterwards, both physically and mentally.
For safe measure it's a good rule of thumb to start out with a warm up before doing focused exercises, especially when there is heavy lifting involved. The types of stretches to do prior to a workout are heavily dependant on the exercise regimen planned whether it be general sports, weight lifting, or cross training. Stretches can be static and on the spot, or kinetic stretches that work on your mobility, you can decide what you prefer. Most often times following the rule of thumb it's best to start with kinetic and mobile stretches, to get the blood flowing into all the intended muscle groups. This way all the targeted muscle groups will be properly oxygenated during the workout. Then finish with static stretches to prevent or reduce any buildup of lactic acids and or knots following a hard workout.
Most often times those looking for a visible change, like weightloss, dont notice it until after everyone else does. Starting with close family members in first 3 months, then friends in the first 6 months, only then will you start to notice the changes after the first 9 months . Along this journey it’s normal to get distracted and discouraged. This is why it’s also important to set new goals to avoid plateauing along the way. Just like when we think of momentum, a fitness regimen in motion will only take you so far if you do the same thing everytime without introducing new challenge. This is why adding more of a variety of techniques and dynamics to your exercises will improve your return and allow for a better overall sculpting of you body composition inside and out.
Benefits of having a healthy fitness regimen
A healthy fitness regimen can improve your overall health mentally and physically, and create new dopamine triggers to replace the old bad habits. There are so many beneficial aspects of getting on track with a great fitness plan, these include:5
- Healing Powers: To be young again… we’re all on a highway to somewhere, but exercise can really contribute to a slowing of this journey. Our cells normally influenced so heavily by factors such as stress, diet, or poor choices such as alcohol consumption and smoking can be moderated and reduced with exercise
- Lifting the spirit: By associating bodily triggers with new healthy habbits you won’t feel as overcumberred or drawn to unhealthy old cravings like that next sugar high or cigarette break
- Mental Klarity: Following a good workout, the high you can experience is like no other, rich with good vibes and all the neurochemicals conducive to a good emotional response as well as the mental clarity to have a productive work day or even better a day to yourself free fo stress and worry
Fitness is important to people of all ages and bodytypes. There is always reward in the physical changes that a good fitness routine can yield but even more so in the mental rewards that come with a consistent and challenging fitness routine. The journey to developing a good fitness routine is fluid and dynamic. What works at one point may not when you reach a new level. The goal is continuous challenge and development, taking note of all your physical accomplishments along the way.
- Physical activity [Internet]. World Health Organization; [cited 2023 Jun 16]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity#:~:text=Globally%2C%2028%25%20of%20adults%20aged,intensity%20physical%20activity%20per%20week
- Only count when it starts hurting [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 16]. Available from: https://admiredleadership.com/field-notes/only-count-when-it-starts-hurting/#:~:text=Muhammad%20Ali%20was%20asked%20how,that’s%20when%20it%20really%20counts.%E2%80%9D
- Brukner P. Brukner and Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017.
- Health benefits of exercise that May surprise you [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 8]. Available from: https://info.totalwellnesshealth.com/blog/health-benefits-of-exercise
- Melinda Smith MA. How to build an exercise plan [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 8]. Available from: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/whats-the-best-exercise-plan-for-me.htm#:~:text=150%20minutes%20of%20moderate%20aerobic,to%20recover.