Appropriate Fitness Program

Strategies for Choosing the Most Appropriate Fitness Program

choosing the right fitness program

There are many approaches that you can take to raise your physical activity level and increase your overall health, fitness, and mental well-being. In addition, each approach will have its own specific physical and mental benefits and challenges.

Each type of physical exercise tends to focus on a specific set of muscle groups, cardiovascular requirements and flexibility benefits. For example, riding a stationary bike promotes muscular development and toning of the lower body (i.e. legs, gluteals and hips) and provides a good overall cardiovascular workout.

Swimming, on the other hand, strongly targets the upper body muscle groups (i.e. upper back, shoulders, and arms) and improves joint range of motion in the shoulders as well. Other factors to consider include the level of intensity and the level of difficulty of the exercise. For example, running may be a physical activity that is too jarring on the ankles, knees, hips and lower back for some individuals.

In this case, it would be recommended that the individual choose an activity that offers a lower level of impact but still provides the same cardiovascular benefits (e.g. biking, walking briskly, elliptical exercise, swimming). With a whole host of exercise options available, it’s important to choose exercises that are matched to your personal fitness goals, within your physical limitations, within your financial budget, readily accessible given the available equipment, and enjoyable to perform. The intent of this article is to provide several strategies for choosing the fitness routine that is most appropriate for you.

Consider Your Fitness Goals

Prior to embarking on a fitness routine, you should take a moment to determine the specific personal fitness goals you want to achieve, and the timeframe in which you hope to achieve them. Are your personal fitness goals centered around losing weight, increasing your lean muscle mass, improving your cardiovascular endurance, increasing your flexibility and coordination, reducing your level of mental stress, or some combination of the above?

In some instances, an individual may begin a fitness routine to better prepare themselves for participation in a sport. In another instance, an individual may want to begin a fitness routine prior to a vacation to Hawaii or prior to their 10-year class reunion.

Their are a whole host of reasons why an individual may want to improve their overall level of health and fitness. However, whatever the reasons may be, there is never a better time than right now to begin a fitness routine.

By determining your personal fitness goals prior to defining your fitness routine, you will be better equipped to align your fitness routine with your personal goals. By doing so, you will not only select activities that are focused on obtaining your personal fitness goals, but also on obtaining them in the shortest time possible. If you fail to properly define your goals, you will be likely to become discouraged and quit your fitness routine as you may not get the results that you were expecting.

Choose Activities You Enjoy

female running

One of the most important strategies for choosing the most appropriate fitness program is determining the types of activities you actually enjoy performing. Time constraints, lack of focus and boredom are among the most common reasons individuals list when defining why they quit their fitness routine.

By choosing enjoyable physical activities, you will not only increase your probability of sticking with your fitness routine, but also the probability of achieving all of your personal fitness goals as well. While many individuals already know the types of physical activities they enjoy, others may need to try several different exercise types before they are able to determine which ones are best suited for them.

It’s important to remember that the varieties of physical exercise are almost endless, and can range from the more traditional exercises (aerobics, weight training, running, biking, swimming, etc.) to unique exercises such as sports, martial arts, dance and rock climbing. With so many types of physical activities available, it’s crucial to choose the exercises that you find enjoyable and motivational. These activities should be directed towards your personal fitness goals and fit within your time constraints and lifestyle.

Make it Appropriate for Your Fitness Level

The fitness routine you choose should be appropriate for your current health and fitness level. In other words, the activities you choose must elevate your heart rate to your target heart rate (for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes to achieve an aerobic effect), tone and/or increase your lean muscle mass, and improve your core stability and flexibility.

However, when first beginning your fitness routine, it is also important that the exercises are not so difficult that you cannot complete them. For many individuals, a fitness program that is beyond their current fitness level and/or capabilities will only create a level of frustration that may to lead to either quitting the exercise routine altogether or possibly incurring an injury.

On the other end of the spectrum, choosing a fitness routine that is too easy may lead to the inability to obtain your personal fitness goals, a lack of focus and boredom. By choosing a fitness routine that challenges your current level of fitness and capability you will provide the foundation that is necessary to achieve your personal fitness goals.

Another benefit is that you will feel a sense of accomplishment each time that you complete your fitness routine. In addition, this sense of accomplishment will help ensure that you continue to live a lifestyle that is filled with good health, fitness, and mental well-being for many years to come.

This being said, you may need to start at a lower level of physical activity and increase the level of intensity, difficulty and duration as you develop and condition your physical capability. For example, if one of your chosen fitness activities is jogging, you may need to begin by first walking briskly.

As your physical condition improves you can begin to add jogging into your walking routine (e.g. walk for 10 minutes, jog for 5 minutes and repeat this sequence). As your fitness level continues to improve, so does the duration of the time spent jogging. This type of approach is outstanding for creating a sense of accomplishment and provides an excellent source of motivation.

Take Advantage of Seasonal Activities

mountain biking

Another strategy for determining the fitness activities that are most appropriate for you is to consider incorporating seasonal activities into your overall fitness program.

For instance, if you live in an area that receives a large amount of snow, you may want to consider learning to cross country ski. Cross country skiing provides an excellent aerobic workout.

Once the cross country ski season is over, you may replace that activity with hiking or biking during the late Spring and Summer. This type of diversity in your fitness routine will keep your workouts fresh, and provide a form of cross training that is beneficial to your overall health and fitness.

Participating in seasonal activities is an excellent approach to keeping your body in a state where it is always trying to develop the skill sets needed to perform the activity. 2Save Video Downloader

Find a Workout Partner

Many of the individuals with whom you associate may already participate in a fitness routine. Hence, another strategy for choosing your fitness program may be to find out what your friends, co-workers or neighbors are doing and join them.

There are several benefits to working out with a partner:

  • First, a partner will help to encourage you during times when your motivation is lacking.

  • Second, both you and your partner have made a commitment to one another to workout together. On days where you would have skipped your workout, you will have a higher probability of exercising since you have already made a commitment to your workout partner.

  • workout partner

  • Third, by working out with a partner, the two of you will push each other in terms of fitness capability, thus improving your fitness at a quicker rate.

  • Finally, you will add a greater level of variety to your fitness routine as your partner may have experienced different types of fitness exercises that you have not.

By choosing a fitness exercise program that targets your personal health and fitness goals, fits into your daily schedule, and provides enjoyment and satisfaction, you will strongly increase your probability of sticking with your fitness routine.

In addition, you will create a lifestyle that is conducive to good health, fitness and mental well-being. For additional tips associated with health and fitness, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter and visit our News section.

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