Building a comprehensive fitness program is necessary for the success and achievement of your fitness goals, whether you’re a novice trainer or you’re looking to get back in shape. Without a proper fitness plan, you’re a journey back to fitness and wellness could feel fruitless and the results may not measure up to the effort.
A complete and effective fitness program involves different components, including aerobics exercise, weight and strength training, and flexibility. In addition to these workout plans, healthy eating habits and weight management also critical components of a comprehensive fitness program.
3 Components of an Effective Comprehensive Fitness Program
1. Aerobic Fitness
This involves any intense exercise such as running, dancing, jogging, walking or cycling that increases your heart rate and blood flow through your muscles and lungs. Fitness activities are also known as cardio or endurance exercises, and they form the foundation on which most workout programs are built on.
When starting your cardio exercises it’s recommended that do moderate aerobic activities as you advance to more vigorous exercises. At least two hours of light aerobics and when you’re ready to up the fitness level, 75 minutes of intense aerobics should help your body gain more endurance. Some people also combine light and intense activity sessions into short episodes of exercise to fit into their daily life routines. Even a 10-minute cardio activity consistently done over a long period can help transform your life than doing nothing at all.
2. Muscular Fitness
Strength training, also known as weight training is fitness activities designed to build muscle size and fitness while strengthening your bones. It also helps in weight loss and management. This component of a comprehensive fitness program includes activities such as lifting weighted bars, stacks, push-pull, powerlifting, dumbbells and using a resistance band.
Ensure to include muscular training of all muscle groups into your workout program at least once a week. Unlike some aerobic activities which you can comfortably do at home or office, most strength training exercises involve fitness equipment or machine that are often costly to buy; the next best option is to subscribe to a gym membership.
Though you can also come up with inexpensive homemade weights such as packets of rice or beans, plastic water bottles, sandbags or kettlebells and still enjoy a good fitness program.
3. Flexibility Training
This is another important component of a comprehensive fitness program you should also be keen on as it increases your flexibility and ability to stretch. Stretching exercises are also known to improve range of motion and joint function while relieving the body from stress and aches.
The best time to introduce stretching exercises is just immediately after breaking from aerobic or strength training. This is because your muscles have warmed up and will be more responsive to stretching. But you can as well start with flexibility routines before working out though you’ll need a quick warm-up session like jogging or sprints to activate your muscles, and 10 minutes should be enough.
Many cardio and weight training activities will often involve aspects of flexibility training. So if you’re not a regular trainer, you might consider having at least two stretching sessions in a week following an intense warm-up. Try yoga or resistance training they also improve flexibility.
Building a Lasting Fitness Program
Having a fitness program is one thing, and following it is another. And that’s why it’s important to practice self-discipline and self-motivation to achieve your fitness goals. So how do you build and maintain an effective fitness program?
- Habit forming: Exercising regularly and embracing other fitness components such as nutrition, rest and a healthy lifestyle can help you achieve your fitness goals. Having a workout plan will motivate you to exercise and best of all is you can design your program to suit your specific fitness needs rather than adopting random plans.
- Having long and short term targets The success of a fitness plan depends on the target goals. When creating a workout plan is necessary to be realistic; set your long-term fitness goals, then narrow down into short and most attainable goals. With every increase in fitness level, you’re unlocking new challenges and getting closer to your ultimate fitness goal; this will boost your confidence levels. Remember to track your progress and appreciate the effort along the way.