Do you know how to create the perfect weekly workout routine?
Many personal trainers say that you should schedule out your workouts in advance for the week. That way you treat them like appointments and are likelier to hold yourself accountable. It makes sense: If you see on your calendar that you are running after work on Wednesday, you won’t plan a happy hour with friends that night. But what should you actually be scheduling out for the week? Well, that depends on who you ask.
- The CDC says that every week, adults need aerobic activity (150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity) and two days of muscle-strengthening activities. How you split that up is up to you. You could jog for half an hour five days and lift weights the two other days, but that would mean you had to work out every single day. Think about scheduling in some longer cardio sessions and combining them with strength training to give yourself some days off.
- Another strategy is to focus on strength training over cardio. This Shape magazine blog recommends prioritizing three strength sessions every week, working cardio in either later in the same day or on other days if you have the time.
- Real Simple magazine recommends a similar approach: Get your cardio in on Mondays and Fridays and fill in the middle three days strengthening different areas: arms, abs, and lower body. Then take the weekend off (you deserve it!).
- One other strategy (this one by FitSugar), suggests working out five days a week, combining cardio with strength training each of those days. The focus with this schedule is on burning enough calories so you lose one pound a week.
No matter which schedule you go with, remember to mix up your activity. Strength training could be Pilates, body-weight moves or a circuit around the machines at the gym while cardio could be cycling, running or swimming.
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Photo credit: Toni Holmes