Outline Your Fitness Plan

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Outline Your Fitness Plan

Your exercise program should include something from each of four basic areas, and each day should begin with a warmup and end with a cooldown. Space your workouts throughout the week and try not to put in consecutive days of hard exercise.

Warmup: Your warmup should include five to ten minutes of low-intensity exercise such as walking or general movement to get the muscles warmed up and elastic.

Muscular strength: Including two 20-minute sessions per week of weight training is the minimum for increasing strength.

Muscular endurance: You should aim for three 30-minute sessions per week with exercises such as calisthenics, pushups, situps, pull-ups and weight training for all the major muscle groups.

Cardiorespiratory endurance: You need at least three 20-minute sessions of continuous aerobic, rhythmic exercise each week, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, rowing, cross-country skiing, etc.

Flexibility: Ten to fifteen minutes of slow, non-bouncing daily stretching exercises can be included in your warmup and/or cooldown.

Cooldown: Finish up with five to ten minutes of low-intensity exercise to cool your muscles down slowly to avoid injury.