Exercise is essential for a healthier you. But one of the biggest hurdles to any exercise program involves two things: setting it up and then, of course, doing it.
Most basic fitness programs include cardio work, strength training and flexibility exercises. But how do you make all three work for you and your busy schedule? Should you focus on cardio and strength on the same day? What kind of flexibility exercises are important?
We hope to inspire you to add more movement to your day. You’ll find practical tips and creative ways to get more active, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day to start. One thing that may actually help you is using a simple 6-week workout schedule that includes all the workouts you need, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or a more advanced exerciser.
Before you lace up those walking shoes, it’s important to take a snapshot of your health and fitness history to determine your current fitness level. You should check with your doctor before you begin any new fitness program. Once your doctor has okayed you to start exercising, the first step is to pick a start date. Take a look at your calendar, count out six weeks from that date, and circle it. Over the next six weeks, as you follow our workout schedule, you’ll notice big changes and, most importantly, you’ll have made exercise a habit.
Easy Ways to Fit More Movement into Your Day
Experts recommend that children have at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Adults need at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate cardio work (e.g., brisk walking) every week and at least 2 days of strength training focused on the major muscle groups. If you’re like most, you don’t always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts.
This may sound like a lot, but don’t worry. Any exercise is better than none. It’s smart to start slowly and work toward these larger goals. Here are some simple, practical ways to fit exercise into your day even when you’re short on time:
Aerobic activities work the large muscles of the body and increase a person’s heart rate. Running, brisk walking, bicycling, playing basketball, dancing and swimming are all examples of aerobic activities. Regular aerobic activity will result in a stronger heart and cardiovascular system.
Download our 6-Week Exercise PlanDownload Exercise Plan
- Take a brisk, 10-minute walk after each meal.
- Park farther away from your destination so your family gets in more steps.
- On breaks at school or work, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.
- Have a family dance party. Put on your favorite music channel, and then dance like crazy.
- Walk or ride your bike to work or school if you can.
- Hide the remote from your kids and change channels the old-fashioned way—by getting up and walking to the television set.