Now it's time to focus on the details. For instance, what type of equipment will you need? This is when you figure out what exercises you need to do to reach your goal.
Essential Equipment. Moving more doesn't require a ton of equipment. Bodyweight exercises are great for building total-body strength and can be done anywhere. Walking and running only require shoes, shorts and a t-shirt. Complete a home gym with a jump rope, TRX and a kettlebell. If you're a gym-goer, stick to free weights.
Master These Moves. Full-body moves that engage multiple muscle groups at one time are best for overall fitness. Begin with bodyweight exercises like the push-up, pull-up, squat and lunge to build solid a foundation of strength. Then, move on to free-weight exercises like the back squat, bench press, bent over row, overhead press and deadlift. These exercises burn more calories in less time than isolated movements and exercise machines. Plus, they train the entire body to work together as a unit, improving core strength and body composition.
Types of Exercises:
- Bodyweight exercises: Push-up, squat, lunge, dips, split squat, burpee, sit-up, pull-up, plank
- Dumbbells: Plank row, thruster, curl and press, suitcase deadlift, overhead press, lunge
- Kettlebells: Swing, deadlift high-pull, thruster, lunge, sit-up
- Barbell: Bench press, overhead press, bent-row, squat variations, deadlift
Put It All Together
Now that all the pieces are in place, it's time to put your plan together. Use these workout templates as a guide to help you create your own workout plan.
The Get Moving Plan. If you're looking to get fit or maintain a strong, lean body, you can workout at home, with no equipment. Combine bodyweight exercises with yoga and cardio activities like walking, running, hiking or biking. Plan to train three days a week. Each session should last 15 to 40 minutes. Schedule training sessions for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Complete a full-body workout Monday and Friday, and do cardio on Wednesday.
The Staying Active Plan. When you're ready to step up your training, add total-body movements like squats, lunges and kettlebell swings to your routine. The more muscles you use, the more calories you will burn. If possible, do 4 to 5 workouts each week that last 30 to 60 minutes. Aim for training sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Two sessions should be strength focused, while the other two should be cardio days.
Build a custom exercise program that's tailored to your goals, ability and schedule. Make time for your workouts and do them consistently. It's the best way to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Stay in shape in a fitness class.