So, you’ve decided you want to exercise more, that’s awesome, now you need to get yourself into an exercise routine.
Whether you want to exercise more to get fitter, lose weight or feel less stressed, a strong exercise routine and plan will help you to achieve your new goals and most importantly stick to them. It is great you are taking the time to exercise more and we are here to help you!
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise?
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health and wellbeing as well as helping to prevent future health conditions. When you exercise regularly you reduce the risk of developing a number of serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes (1,2,3). Exercise can also help to improve your weight management: whether you're looking to shed a few pounds or maintain your current weight, regular exercise will increase your metabolic rate meaning a higher calorie burn (2,3,4).
Exercise makes you stronger by improving your muscle strength, tone and endurance (2,3). As you train, your stamina is going to improve too, meaning you can workout for longer periods of time without getting as tired; you will be able to do household chores or other strenuous activities without losing steam so quickly (2).
Do you struggle with your mental health? Increasing your fitness isn’t the only way exercise will improve your lifestyle, your mental wellbeing will also improve as you exercise too. Studies have found that exercise improves your stress levels, leaving you feeling calmer and happier (5). Exercise can help to make you feel more alert and energetic so that you can have a more productive day (4,5). Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine which boost our energy levels and happiness, this is why multiple studies have found that exercise is great for our mental health (5,6). Exercise can also reduce the severity of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD (6).
Why Do We Need An Exercise Routine?
Routines help us to keep on track with both motivation to continue exercising and progression. Having a regular exercise routine will help keep you accountable and avoid skipping the workouts. A clear exercise plan and a focus will also help to prevent you getting bored. Different exercises have different benefits to our fitness and it is important to include these types within your weekly routine:
Aerobic Exercise: We are sure you have heard of the phrase cardio - exercises like walking, running, swimming and evening vacuuming can get your breathing quicker and your heart rate up by using most of your muscle groups (7). Cardio exercise is recommended as part of your weekly exercise routine because it strengthens your heart and pumps blood throughout the body helping to reduce the risk of heart disease (9).
Strength Training: This type of exercise is what improves your bone and muscle strength and can make everyday chores easier. Gyms offer various resistance machines to help build your strength and if you're working out from home then dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands or exercises like pushups or sit ups are great options too (7).
Core Exercises: These are exercises that work your abdomen, lower back, and pelvic muscles. Building up your core strength will make your upper and lower body muscles perform much better. Great exercises to improve your core are sit ups and the plank (7).
Stretching: Your muscle flexibility and ability to stretch will impact your fitness so they should always be included in an exercise routine. A warm up and a cool down are important parts of any workout. They prepare you for exercise and help to reduce injuries and should not be missed. Dynamic stretches will prepare the muscles for your workout ahead and help to prevent injuries and static stretching during a cool down is ideal because your muscles are still warm (8).
When you create your weekly exercise routine make sure that exercises from each category are included. They don’t need to be in every workout but aim to include them across the week. It is important with every exercise routine, you find or create a plan that works for you and can easily fit around your lifestyle.
If you are stuck on how to make a plan or need one to follow we are here to help you with our personalised Personal Training sessions and weekly class timetables with a mix of cardio, strength and flexibility group classes on Zoom.
Written by Performance For All - find us on Instagram @wearepfa
Researched and written by Sophie O’Neill - BA Creative Writing Student (Content Writer at Performance for All) and Jade Mottley - Sport Scientist and MSc Human Nutrition (Head Coach at Performance For All)