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How to Build a Well-Rounded Workout Plan

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have a favorite exercise. Mine is yoga. Yours may be lifting weights or running every morning. Whatever it is, most of us will agree we need a well-rounded workout plan to stay healthy and fit.

Along with yoga, I need daily stretches, long walks and some small weight workouts.

The fitness experts at suggest including three key areas:

  • Strength training
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Flexibility training

To make this happen we need to understand and incorporate each of these important areas.

Start with cardio training - Get your heart rate up jogging, biking, dancing, fast walking or running. You will lower blood pressure and risk for diabetes, as you improve your circulation and oxygen intake.

Add weight training - Strengthen body muscles and bones using weight for resistance. Use resistance bands, body weight in yoga, free weights or weight machines as you improve metabolism, control weight and increase your power on the courts.

Mix in flexibility training -  Be the best you can be as you stretch and lengthen muscles with yoga, Pilates or stretching. You may find yourself running better, improving posture, and looking better as you avoid pain and injuries.

At first you may feel a little overwhelmed as you hunt for the perfect combination of strength, flexibility and heart protection exercises, but don't give up. Keep adding and subtracting with tips like this.

Get real and begin where you are - I am always tempted to plunge head with new plans, but it is very important to go slow with cardio, stretches and weight lifting to prevent burnout and lower your risk of injury.  You may be a little sore at first, but if you are completely wiped out, you need to slow down.

Always get your cardio in - Shoot for 150 minutes or more of moderate intensity cardio or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio if you are already doing a lot of cardio. Your heart needs the exercise every day

Find ways to monitor exercise levels - Use a heart rate monitor or the "talk test," to see if you can carry on a conversation, which indicates moderate intensity.

Use weight training for the whole body - Use squats, lunges, and chest presses to work the upper and lower body muscle groups. You can do cardio and weight training on the same day if you like.

Just keep moving and looking for the best workout plan for you. You will know it when you feel it working just the way you planned.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Irvine, Calif.

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