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The Best Fitness Routine Ever Made

By Edited May 22, 2014 2 2
A man doing a deadlift
Credit: wikipedia commons public domain - US Navy

There are Many Fitness Routines Available

All of us are curious about what fitness routine is the best.  There are many to select, the possibilities are almost endless.  Obesity is rampant among American adults and we need to do more to keep ourselves in motion.  Most of us have sedentary jobs and it’s comfortable to channel surf on the couch or easy chair after a stressful day at work.  We want to do something physically active but often have trouble starting a routine.  More to the point, we have a habit of starting off with a burst of energy and then stopping after a few workouts.

Most fitness gyms bank on the idea that we will sign up and stop going after a time.  The gym would be too crowded if everyone who joined actually went there on a regular basis.  The gym managers try to get us to sign contracts for a specific period so we continue to pay even though we don’t work out very often.  Many of us sign the contracts with the best of intentions and our attendance eventually peters out.

A Multitude of Options

In terms of fitness options, P90X is currently very popular.[1]  Tony Horton has come up with a

Men running on treadmills
great variety of routines to give you overall fitness if you do any of the routines on a daily basis.  You’ll be ripped if you follow his guidance.  HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is great as well.[2]   In this type of exercise you go at full exertion in a sprinting or biking activity for 30 seconds to a minute, then slow down to low exertion for a couple minutes.  You repeat this for eight times.  The workout is fast and engages your fast twitch muscles.  This type of routine is also great for all overall fitness and improving your physique.

If you want to maximize your muscle mass, weight training using compound exercises and heavy weights is great.  You can get bigger quickly doing this type of routine.  If you don’t want to get muscled up, you can lace up your gym shoes and go running.  This is the most basic of exercises and provides aerobic fitness like almost no other activity.  Many people enjoy spin classes and group activity to achieve their fitness goals.  Each of these types of activities has their virtues.

One of the great benefits of yoga classes is the refreshed feeling you have upon completion.  The yoga sessions are good exercise and you aren’t physically spent.  While you may not maximize your bench press or 5k time, you will gain some overall body strength, help your flexibility and achieve a general sense of wellbeing. 

Don't Stop Exercising

Most of Us Stop After a While

The downside to any of these activities, if they are too difficult or time consuming, is that you

Spin Class
will cease your participation after a time.  The most unfortunate fact of life is that you can’t just get fit and then stop exercising.  You have to keep going to stay fit.  I’ve noticed that as I have gotten older my body composition changes faster when I slow down or stop exercising.  Now that I’m 55 and even a grandparent, things go to flab pretty quick if I take a break. 

Based on the need to stay active, the best routine that you can do is one that you will continue to do over time.  That’s the simple answer to what is the best exercise routine.  It’s the one you will do over and over.  There is no magic.  You have to continue to keep your body in motion as long as you care to stay fit.  In addition to increasing longevity, exercise lengthens your morbidity, which is your ability to stay mobile.  I don’t ever want to have to drive the scooter when I go to Walmart.  I want to walk the aisles for as long as possible.

Change Things Up

To keep active, I like to change things up.  Even Jack LaLanne, the famous fitness fanatic, changed his exercise routines on a regular basis.  What never changed for as long as he lived was his discipline in remaining active.  He always exercised, but the types of exercise he engaged in changed on a regular basis.  I enjoy running and weight training.  I’ve always enjoyed both.  Still, one or the other can get boring for me from time to time or at least become something of a chore.  In order to alleviate that feeling, I change my exercise emphasis a couple times a year.  In the hotter months, when running outside in Florida is pure misery, I

Yoga class
emphasize weight training.  Getting stronger is most important for those months.  When things are cooler and running outside is more doable, I concentrate on getting in more running mileage each week and try to just maintain my strength in the gym.  I may not maximize my results from either activity by changing my main concentration during the year, but I do manage to stay interested and active the whole time.

Pick Something You Will Actually Do Regularly

Some of us will never be the fastest of runners or the strongest guy in the gym that everyone watches doing their bench press.  I’m fine with my capabilities.  The important thing is to do whatever it takes to stay active on a year round basis.  If a daily walk through your neighborhood is all you’ll ever do regularly, then go for your walks and don’t worry about P90X or the latest and most sexy exercise innovations.  They don’t matter if you won’t do them consistently over time.  A study of yoga participants concluded that sticking with a routine actually helped keep the participants more active in general.[3]

Triathlon Swim
Many people use a personal trainer.  Often, the trainers will promise fantastic results if you agree to use them.  From what I’ve seen over the years, the primary benefit of a trainer is that you have to make specific appointment to go see them.  Going to the trainer makes you go to the gym.  You’ve probably already paid them for a series of work outs so you have to go and get your money’s worth.  Having a trainer is enforced discipline.  Just by going to the trainer on a regular basis, you’ll get some results.

Conclusion

Don’t try to over think your fitness or try to do too much.  If you do either, you may not keep it up.  Fitness should be a lifelong goal you consistently attempt to achieve.  The continued effort on the journey is more important than reaching a milestone and then stopping. 

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Comments

Mar 2, 2014 10:45am
DionSmith
All good advice. I am a big advocate of HIT. I used to say "HIT Training" then a couple of my buddies used to get on me ("I suppose you have a PIN number too"). I like the part about gyms banking on the fact that we won't follow through. That's an eye-opening perspective (and perhaps added motivation?) Good job.
Mar 2, 2014 5:08pm
BoomerBill
Thanks. I like HIT too.
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Bibliography

  1. Angela Haupt "Tony Horton Talks P90X and What's Next." usnews.com. 10/9/2013. 2/03/2014 <Web >
  2. Charlotte Hilton Anderson "8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)." shape.com. 29/8/2013. 2/03/2014 <Web >
  3. Bryan S, Pinto Zipp G, Parasher R. "The effects of yoga on psychosocial variables and exercise adherence: a randomized, controlled pilot study." ncbi.nlm.nih.gove. n/a/9/2012. 2/03/2014 <Web >

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