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How to Choose the Right Workout: Some Things to Remember

Not everyone enjoys exercising. But whether you enjoy it or not, if you do plan to exercise, you will want to get the most out of it. Choosing the right workout routine ensures that your efforts are rewarded.

When picking or creating an exercise plan, you'll need to make sure that it has all the essential elements of a good fitness program. This includes cardiovascular exercise, weight training exercises, and some sort of stretching routine. Yoga and pilates are gaining recognition for the benefits they provide by increasing the muscle strength in the core of the body, so you might consider them, too.

Cardio exercises include anything that gets your blood pumping and your heart beating. Usually, you can assume you are doing cardio if you are sweating and breathing hard. Walking, running, biking, skiing, playing sports and swimming are all different but effective kinds of cardio. There's no need to choose just one-- do any that you like.

In order to sustain your level of fitness, you should do cardio at least three times a week. If your goal is to improve your fitness, at least four days a week is better. Weight training should be done either two or three days a week, because you shouldn't do it on consecutive days or less than twice a week. Stretching, yoga, or pilates can be done a little each day, or make up an entire exercise session each week-- it's up to you.

Most people fall into a routine where they mostly do just one kind of exercise, like jogging or biking. This isn't a bad idea, but to see the best results in terms of fitness, making sure to do other things occasionally is a better idea. Some people choose to designate one or two days a week as 'cross-training' days, and do something different then.

For those people who don't actually enjoy exercising, it can be made significantly more tolerable by the addition of some kind of stationary machine that you can watch television or read while using. Exercise bikes and treadmills are the obvious choices, but there are also elliptical machines, stair climbers, and other equipment to consider, if you want.

Choosing the right workout routine means making sure that your exercise plan is safe and effective. But it also means making sure that it includes activities you are likely to actually do. So pick something a little unconventional-- your body will thank you if it means you start moving more and sitting less.


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