Make 2020 Your Greatest Fitness Year

By Meagan Bess

2020 should be the year you begin a fitness routine and stick to it. Not only does exercising benefit your health, it also allows for a clearer mindset. Once you decide what gym you want to become a member of or if you want to get your workouts done at home, then it is time to decide the best form of exercise that will work for you.

Aerobic exercise “provides cardiovascular conditioning.” Some of the benefits of aerobic exercise is that it lowers blood pressure, helps control blood sugar and assists in weight management and weight loss. Aerobic exercise can consist of low impact or high impact workouts. Low impact aerobic exercises includes the following: swimming, cycling, rowing and using an elliptical trainer. High impact aerobic exercises include the following: Running, jumping rope and step aerobics. It is recommended to complete 30 minutes of a workout 5 to 7 days a week.

High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT is another great way to stay in shape. HIIT is an intense anerobic with less recovery periods that are less intense to allow one to catch their breath. You can target a big calorie burn, lose weight, build muscle and boost your metabolism. Before beginning this type of workout or any type of workout it can be important to do a few dynamic stretches. A dynamic warmup allows the joints and muscles to go through a full range of motions. Some exercises that get the body moving are Russian twists, single-leg burpees, mountain climbers, plank jacks and squat thrusts. These exercises can easily be found online with a model to follow before making a 30 minute or more workout out of them. To make it easier, channels such as Fitness Blender is a great workout space to find HIIT workouts. With over 5 million subscribers, you won’t get left behind with the YouTube husband and wife duo.

Circuit training is another great way to lose or maintain your weight. “It is a form of body conditioning using high-intensity aerobics.” It helps with muscle endurance and strength building. The time between each circuit is usually short with a quick transition to the next exercises. Each circuit should include a different part of the body. The upper-body exercises should include push-ups, bench dips and back extensions. Core exercises can include sit-ups and stomach crunches. Lower-body exercises include squat jumps, bench squats and step-ups. This workout can last for 20 to 30 minutes or longer. You can include about 8 to 10 exercises in each circuit and the time they last depends on how many reps you do.

Strength training is a necessity every other day outside of cardio. According to WebMD, strength training is “a type of exercise that builds muscle strength and endurance.” Some examples are resistance bands and weightlifting. A great way to get started with weightlifting is by using free weights such as kettlebells and dumbbells. As a beginner it is best to do 3 sets of each exercise. If you are move advanced, you can increase it to four sets. The amount of repetitions depend on what you are trying to do. Muscle strength or muscle gain can include 5 to 10 reps. Muscle endurance can include 10 to 15 reps.

Cross training mixes “aerobics, strength training and flexibility.” This training helps to increase agility, strength, power, speed, endurance and balance. Mixing up your activity brings more fun to exercising and removes any boredom from repeating similar routines. If you want to consider cross training, do so a couple times a week.

Tabata is similar to HIIT due to it being a high intensity interval training. You start out with 20 seconds of effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. The exercises can be repeated for eight rounds. Tabata is a great workout especially for endurance and speed.

 With all these forms of exercise, it can be a great investment to start a fitness plan. If you aren’t one to workout alone, get a friend or family member to go along with you every day you go or a couple of days during the week. Consider joining a class and go every week. It’s more to it than seeing results, it is a way to permanently improve your lifestyle. Most importantly, check with your physician prior to starting any type of fitness regimen.

Photo Credit: Isha Gaines for CreateHerStock

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