An exercise workout program should be incorporated into your daily
routine just like brushing your teeth or taking a bath. The secret to success is
turning it into something that you do every day without questioning the need for
it. There are four basic components to being physically fit; cardio-respiratory
endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. Your exercise
program needs to incorporate aspects of all four into your daily routine.
The Presidents Council on Physical Fitness recommends that
each workout should begin with a five to ten minute warm-up and end with a five
to ten minute cooling down activity. In between, you will perform exercises that
will address all four components of physical fitness. The Council recommends a
minimum of three 20 minute cardio activities each week, three 30 minute sessions
of calisthenics for muscle endurance, at least two 20 minute weekly weight
training sessions and a daily 10-12 minute period of stretching.
As you workout, it is important to push yourself to the
limit in each activity. Monitoring your heart rate is one good way to know if
your exercise program is effective. First, subtract your age from 220 to
determine your maximum heart rate and then try and workout at about 70% of that
figure. For example, if you are 40 years old your training rate would be 126
beats per minute. The easiest way to measure your heart rate is to count the
beats for ten seconds and multiple that number by 6.
When you make the commitment to a daily exercise routine,
it does not really matter what time of day you decide to workout. The key is to
pick a time that is as convenient as possible and try and stick to a regular
schedule. Some people will tell you it is best to workout first thing in the
morning while others swear just before dinner is best. Whenever you choose to
workout, remember that you are not going to see dramatic results right away.
Patience is required. Unfortunately, too many people give up on their exercise
programs before they feel the benefits from their hard work.