Keep a balanced workout with some helpful tips from our Health and Fitness Director, Peggy Herforth.
Our workout program needs to contain four essential components to be safe, effective and balanced. Aerobic exercise improves our cardiovascular system and helps with weight loss or maintenance. Resistance exercise improves our muscular tone and endurance. Flexibility exercise enhances our range of motion. Neuro-motor exercise can help guard against getting hurt and increase our strength, balance, and agility.
Aerobic exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week). Use full-body, rhythmic movements such as walking, cycling, swimming, stair climbing, dancing, jogging, skating and rowing to elevate your heart rate to a level that leaves us slightly breathless but able to keep up a conversation.
Do resistance training three days a week with at least one day of rest between workouts. We should include exercises for all our major muscle groups, such as our shoulders, back, chest, core, glutes, arms, legs and calves, using a combination of weight training and bodyweight exercises such as the squats or pushups. Complete at least one set of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise increasing the number of sets as our strength improves and choosing a weight that is tiring for the final two repetitions of each set.
Neuro-motor exercise is recommended for 20-45 minutes, two or three days per week. Exercises should involve motor skill and proprioceptive exercise training (balance, agility, and coordination). Here at our “Y” neuro-motor style classes include Basic Training, Breathe, Yoga, and Total Body Training.
Our workouts should end with stretching when the muscle are warm and more pliable. Stretches should target our major muscle groups including our back, chest, shoulders, arms, hips, legs and calves. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
We should consider varying our exercise routines for three fundamental reasons: to reduce risk of injury, to prevent boredom associated with doing the same things workout after workout, and to avoid or delay reaching a plateau in workout performance and, subsequently, training results. Our bodies adapt to any exercise over time and as we become more proficient at it we use less calorie burn and neuro-muscular reaction than when we first began.
It takes your body six to eight weeks to adapt to an exercise routine, which makes this time frame an ideal one for making changes to your workout, according to the American Council on Exercise. This is a general option for altering the components of your exercise program. However, any time you start seeing a reduction in progress, making changes is likely to help.