Components of a Workout Schedule
1. Cardio. The American Heart Association recommends adults get 30 minutes of moderate intensity most days of the week (four to five days) to improve their health. If you are looking to lose weight, you will either need to do more, or do the cardio at a higher intensity, which is what most would recommend to cut down on workout time. You can do your cardio on the same days you do strength training or not, it’s really up to you. Walking, running, hiking, biking and anything else that elevates your heart rate for an extended period of time is a good choice.
2. Strength training. Strength training not only helps to build strong muscles, it also keeps bones and connective tissue strong as well. Strength training can be done with weights or body-weight resistance and should hit the major muscle groups of the body, which include the glutes, quads, hamstrings, core, chest, back, biceps, triceps and shoulders.
3. Rest days. Rest days are just as important as your workouts, and after strength training, your muscles need 48 hours to heal and repair. This doesn’t mean you can’t do strength training everyday, however. You can split your muscles groups up, like into upper and lower body, so on the days you train one group, the other gets to rest.
4. Flexibility. Flexibility may not be high on your radar, but it is an important, and often overlooked, part of the fitness equation. Stretching increases range of motion, cuts down on injury and allows your muscles to repair and build evenly. You should always stretch the muscles you use during your workout, preferably at the end of your workout when they’re already warm. Cold muscles pull easily, and a pulled muscle can sideline you for weeks.