Make sure you include the following elements in your weekly program: three to five cardiovascular workouts; two to three strength workouts and one to three stretch and balance sessions.These sessions should each be a minimum of 20 minutes, which does not include your warm-up and cool-down. You can focus on just one of the above elements for 20 minutes or put all three Into one session. Don't worry too much about which element you do during your sessions, just listen to your body and do the type of workout you feel your body needs most. All this may sound time-consuming, but your minimum workout time is just three hours a week -with 163 hours in a week, anyone can do this' The key is to increase the length of your workouts when you have time and stick to the minimum on busy weeks.
Unless you're new to exercise, your cardiovascular workouts must be vigorous. Work up to a level where your breathing is heavy and you can only talk for a sentence or two. Your heart rate must stay up throughout the session and you should feel tired but energized by your workout. If you're new to exercise, build up to this level over four to six weeks. Include at least three types of cardiovascular training every week: a long session of 40-60 minutes; a medium session of 30-40 minutes and a short session of 20-30 minutes. Push yourself as hard as you can in the time you have. The shorter the session, the higher your intensity should be. Try interval training for shorter workouts and group sessions or partner sessions for longer workouts to boost your motivation.
There are three essential Ingredients to effective strength training: consistency, progression and muscle overload. Find a workout you can stick with. If you find the gym boring, build up your strength using another activity, such as yoga, Pilates, group classes and sports that require "power and pull" such as water sports, climbing, racquet sports and martial arts. To get results, you should feel muscle fatigue in most parts of your body. To progress, you need to increase your intensity every three to four weeks and overload your muscles by working with good technique so you can safely and effectively challenge all the main muscles in your body. If you're new to this, ask an instructor for advice.
Stretch and Balance Sessions
Stretching helps prevent injury and helps you learn more about your body's strengths and weaknesses. At least once a week, dedicate a minimum of 20 continuous minutes to balancing and stretching. You can make this a part of your strength sessions, do a power Yoga or Pilates session or simply stretch in your living room, focusing on areas of your body that feel tight or weak.
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