Designing a fitness routine for overall health

Designing a fitness routine for overall health

Designing a fitness routine for overall health

By Sujata Muguda Shreyas WebMedia Solutions

3/4/2024: Cardiovascular and strength exercises are essential for general fitness. Strength exercise increases bone health, increases muscular mass, and speeds up metabolism. Cardio strengthens the heart, burns calories, and boosts stamina. Combining the two guarantees a comprehensive exercise program that improves general health and well-being. To get you started, think about this breakdown:


  • Goal: Improves heart health, burns calories, and boosts mood.
  • Intensity: Aim for moderate-intensity exercise that elevates your heart rate but allows you to carry on a conversation.
  • Frequency: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week [2]. You can break this down into smaller chunks, like 30 minutes a day for five days.
  • Examples: Brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing – find activities you enjoy!

Strength Training:

  • Goal: Builds muscle mass, strengthens bones, and increases metabolism.
  • Intensity: Use weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to challenge your muscles. Aim for 8-12 repetitions per exercise, where the last few reps are difficult.
  • Frequency: The ACSM recommends strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two days a week, with at least 48 hours of rest in between for recovery [2].
    Examples: Squats, lunges, push-ups, rows, overhead presses – there are many variations to target different muscle groups.

Putting it Together:

Here’s a sample beginner-friendly routine that incorporates both cardio and strength training:

  • Week 1-2: Alternate between 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (e.g., brisk walking) and a full-body strength training session (2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for major muscle groups) with rest days in between.
  • Week 3 onwards: You can gradually increase the duration or intensity of your workouts as you get fitter. Consider splitting your strength training routine into upper-body and lower-body workouts.

Additional Tips:

  • Listen to your body: Start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration to avoid injuries.
  • Warm-up and cool down: Dedicate 5-10 minutes to dynamic stretches before your workout and static stretches afterward.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts.
  • Find an exercise buddy: Working out with a friend can boost motivation and make exercise more enjoyable.
  • Consult your doctor: This is especially important if you have any health concerns or limitations.

Remember, consistency is key! Even small amounts of daily activity are beneficial. Design a routine you can stick with and gradually challenge yourself as you improve your overall fitness.

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