Establishing a Workout Regimen That Fits
Establishing a workout routine and regimen is one of the most physically empowering things a person can do for taking control and managing their health. However, for many the idea of going to the gym is a proverbial Hell. The judgement, the atmosphere, the scarring memories of gym class from school days, and the smells...
But all of that is in the past! This post can help in finding the right routine that works for a person, on an individual basis. First, let's look at the different forms of exercise and what's popular.
Cardio / Aerobic
What is cardio / aerobic exercise?
Aerobic (or cardio) exercise is any low to high intensity workout that relies on oxygen as its primary source for metabolic energy. Usually, aerobic workouts can also be performed for extended periods of time . Additionally, this heart rate calculator can help find your target heart rate for optimal cardio exercise: Heart Rate Target. If you're unable to measure your heart rate while doing an aerobic exercise, another way to measure the workout's intensity to think in terms of a light aerobic exercise being one that you can do while singing, a moderate intensity is one you can do while talking, and an intense aerobic exercise is one that only allows you enough breath for the exercise and nothing else.
Common Cardio / Aerobic Workouts:
- Running / Jogging
- High caloric output
- Sustainable for long period of time
- Low impact / less body damage options, other than running.
- Builds cardiovascular support for longevity and heart health
- Long-term exertion can lead to stress fractures or other injuries
- Exercises can be monotonous or repetitive, without stimulus
- Elevated blood pressure and heart rate during exercise
Anaerobic exercise is pretty much what it sounds like, in relation to aerobic exercise. Instead of the body receiving enough oxygen to fulfill its energy needs, lactate is formed to provide support for the muscles being used in the workout. This type of workout is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass.
- Heavy weight lifting
- Running sprints
- Pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups
- Jumping, squats, jumprope
- Punching, kicking
Common Anaerobic Workout:
- Increase muscular stamina
- Improve muscles' oxygen efficiency
- Low impact on joints
- Builds muscle mass and density
- Lower calorie burn output for most workouts
- Can be monotonous or repetitive
- Concern of judgement or competition
Yoga / Pilates / Stretching
Yoga, pilates, and stretching are excellent ways to develop muscle flexibility and strength, while increasing mobility and definition.
- Increases circulation, flexibility, and thus mobility
- Minimal space & equipment required
- Various outlets, resources, and programs available
- Customizable for expertise level
- Fewer calories burned, compared to other workouts
- Requires movement clothes beyond regular gym clothes
Calisthenics / Body Weight
Calisthenics focus on exercises performed without equipment or an apparatus of any kind, with the primary focus being on gross body movement like pushing, standing, running, and grabbing.
Common calisthenic workouts:
- Insanity, P90X
- sit-ups, pushups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, etc.
- Doesn't require equipment or a gym
- Many sources for training and guidance
- Easier to implement into a daily schedule
- High mobility and impact are generally required
- Does contribute to cardio endurance as well as anaerobic or aerobic exercises