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Daily Fitness Schedule: How to Make a Well-Rounded Routine
Do you have a daily fitness schedule?
Do you know how to make a well-rounded routine?
Whether you’re a beginner determined to stick to your new year’s resolution or an exercise fanatic hoping to reach new heights in your fitness goals, a well-rounded routine is essential.
Science and experts agree: there are loads of benefits to diversifying your workouts, especially if you want to avoid injury.
“Variety is the spice of fitness,” says Adam Rosante, celebrity strength and nutrition coach. “One of the surest ways to hit a plateau is to do the same workout over and over.”
Make sure you include these five elements of good health to create a balanced routine.
Your daily fitness schedule should have aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching.
Aerobic activity, or cardio or endurance activity, is the key element of most fitness training programs.
Cardio activity makes you breathe faster and more deeply, which increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Your heart will beat faster, increasing the blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.
The better your cardio fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels move oxygen throughout your body.
Being in good cardio condition means it’s easier to complete routine physical tasks and deal with unexpected challenges, such as running to catch the bus that’s about to close its doors.
Aerobic activity can be any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate.
This includes walking at a good pace, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, water aerobics, etc.
Combining Moderate and Vigorous Activity
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.
The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise throughout the week.
You can even break up activity into shorter periods of exercise with the goal of moving more during the day.
Keep in mind that any amount is better than none at all.
High-intensity interval training is also a great option.
This involves alternating short bursts of intense activity (around 30 seconds) followed by recovery periods (around three to four minutes) of lighter activity.
For example, you could alternate periods of brisk walking with periods of leisurely walking or add bursts of jogging to your brisk walks.
Daily Fitness Schedule: Strength Training
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Muscular fitness is another key ingredient of a daily fitness schedule.
Strength training helps you increase bone strength and muscular fitness, and it can help you manage or lose weight.
It also improves your ability to do everyday activities.
Ideally, strength training of all the major muscle groups should be added to your fitness schedule at least twice a week.
Most gyms offer various resistance machines, free weights and other tools for strength training.
If you don’t want to invest in a gym membership or expensive equipment there are other options.
Hand-held weights and resistance bands are other inexpensive options
You can also just use your own body weight.
Pushups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches, and leg squats are all great exercises that will build up your muscles.
Daily Fitness Schedule: Working your Core
Your core muscles — the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements.
Core strength is an essential element of a well-rounded fitness training program.
Exercises that focus on the core help train your muscles to brace the spine and allow you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively.
A core exercise is any exercise that uses the trunk of your body without support: bridges, planks, sit-ups and fitness ball exercises all work the core.
Daily Fitness Schedule: Balance Training
Balance exercises are great for maintaining your balance at any age.
It’s an especially good idea for older adults to include exercises to maintain or improve balance in their fitness routine.
This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can eventually lead to falls and fractures.
Balance exercises can help older adults prevent falls and maintain their independence.
However, anyone can benefit from balance training, since it can help stabilize your core muscles.
Try standing on one leg for increasingly longer periods of time to improve your overall stability.
Activities such as tai chi and Pilates can improve balance as well.
Daily Fitness Schedule: Flexibility and Stretching
Flexibility is needed for all aspects of physical fitness, and it’s always a good idea to include stretching and flexibility activities in a fitness program.
Stretching exercises help increase flexibility, which can make it easier for you to do many everyday activities that need flexibility.
These movements also improve your joints’ range of motion and may result in better posture.
When done on a regular basis stretching can even help relieve stress and tension.
Try to stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching.
If you prefer to stretch before a workout, warm up first by walking or exercising for five to 10 minutes before stretching.
Ideally, you should stretch whenever you exercise.
If you don’t exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least two to three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility.
Yoga is a great activity for promoting flexibility.
Daily Fitness Schedule: Sample Week of Balanced Workouts
Here’s one way to structure your daily fitness schedule to reduce injury and optimize results.
Try this workout to see if you get stronger and leaner while improving your overall conditioning and boosting your energy.
Monday: Upper-body strength training (45 to 60 minutes)
Weightlifting gloves can be especially helpful, they will give you a better bar grip when grasping barbells and dumbbells, and reduce friction.
They can even help compensate for structural deficiencies.
Try a pair of Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Gloves and see how they will improve your daily routine.
Strength training is a critical part of any weekly workout schedule to help build lean muscle, increase bone strength, and prevent injury.
Try an upper-body dumbbell workout and add:
Bent-Over Reverse Fly
- Begin by bending at the waist, hold dumbbells with palms facing in.
- Shift your weight into your heels, engage lat muscles, and keep back straight.
- Raise arms to the sides and pull elbows back, keeping arms mostly straight, but don’t lock elbows.
- Don’t round your back or drop your shoulders.
Lateral to Front Raise
- Stand with your feet together and engage your core.
- Raise straight arms out to the sides with palms facing down.
- Lower, then raise straight arms directly in front, palms still facing down.
- That’s one rep. Be careful not to swing arms.
Tuesday: Lower-body strength training (30 to 60 minutes)
When it comes to lifting the general rule is to allow 48 hours of recovery time between working the same muscle group.
As you train, you develop microscopic tears in the muscles that produce inflammation, and your body needs this in-between time to repair the tears.
By focusing on lower body strength on “day two” you give your upper body muscles a chance to rest.
Deadlifts recruit the muscles in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
How to do it:
- Hold a pair of dumbbells as you stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with your knees slightly bent.
- The weights should be in front of your thighs, palms facing in.
- Keep a neutral spine as you hinge forward from your hips, reaching the dumbbells to the ground, until your torso is almost parallel with the floor.
- Focus on squeezing your glutes to raise your body halfway back up [as shown] and then return to full forward hinge again.
- That’s one rep. Repeat.
Shifting Side Lunge
This move combines the sumo squat with a side lunge.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet together, with the dumbbells by your sides.
- Step out wide to your right and lower into a side lunge, reaching dumbbells on either side of right leg.
- Bend your left knee and shift your weight into both legs, into a wide squat position, reaching the dumbbells to the floor in front of you.
- Then extend your right leg and shift your weight to the left, moving into a side lunge with your left leg.
- Push off your left foot to bring your legs together and return to start. That’s one rep.
- Alternate sides with each rep.
Wednesday: Yoga or a Low-Impact Activity (30 to 60 Minutes)
You don’t want to do the same activity on successive days so if you just had a high impact day, follow that up with a low impact day.
A low-impact activity can be barre work, light cycling, or swimming.
This type of workout will give your muscles time to recover before you hit the heavy weights again, they are still a great way to burn major calories.
Thursday: HIIT (20 minutes)
Not only do these fast-paced workouts take half the time, but they can also provide the same health benefits as endurance activities, says one University of Birmingham study.
People are also more likely to stick to HIIT-style workouts because of the variety of movements.
“HIIT workouts are especially effective if you pick something you like, such as running, dancing cycling, or rowing.
Once you have picked your activity then do it for intervals of time.
Combine short bursts of full effort work with lower-intensity work of the same move.
Friday: Total-body strength training (30 to 60 minutes)
Now is the time to hit all of your major muscle groups like your quads, glutes, hamstrings, chest, upper back, plus core.
This is when you do the heavier compound lifts such as the deadlift, hip thrust, squat, bench press, and weighted rowing movements.
And for your core, the plank and plank variations are great here as well.
Saturday: Steady-State Cardio
Steady-state cardio is still important for your health so run or cycle for as long as it feels comfortable for you.
Studies have found that running just two hours a week can significantly extend your lifespan.
The same is true for biking—a recent study suggested biking can help you live longer while reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease.
P.S. Don’t forget to foam roll and stretch on your rest day.
Final Thoughts on a Daily Fitness Schedule: How to Make a Well-Rounded Routine
A well-rounded routine that includes strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness works best when combined with a diet that includes the right combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other nutrients.
Whether you are trying to create your own fitness training program or plan to enlist the help of a personal trainer, your overall exercise plan should include all these elements.
You don’t have to fit each of these elements into every gym visit but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.
Don’t ignore your body’s warning signs.
Allow your body the time it needs to recover so that you can stay in the game longer.
- Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine
- Here’s What a Perfectly Balanced Week of Workouts Looks Like
- The HIIT Workout that Tones in 30 Seconds
- Are You Working Out Hard Enough? 5 Reasons to Keep Going
- Add Pilates to Your Weightlifting Program
- Low Impact Exercise Benefits | Safe & Smart Fitness