Your Exercise Routine, Deconstructed

We began this conversation about developing your physical health routine in a previous article, but now we want to discuss how your exercise routine fits in! Here we will tell you the three parts of an exercise session, and some other tips for getting yourself going.

 

Three Parts of an Exercise Session

There are three general elements of every successful workout.  These are known as the warm-up, training and cool-down. Understanding these three elements will also ensure that you get results safely.

  • The Warm Up | 10-20 minutes | Heart Rate 70 bpm – 110 bpm
    • The warm up is the foundation of your exercise program. It facilitates the transition from rest to exercise, stretches postural muscles, augments blood flow and increases metabolic rate from the resting level to aerobic requirement for endurance training. Since the warm up comes first, it will set the tone for the rest of the exercise session. A warm up may reduce the susceptibility to musculoskeletal injury by increasing connective tissue extensibility, improving joint range of motion and function and enhancing muscular performance. The exercise session should begin with 5 to 10 minutes of low intensity calisthenic-type and stretching exercises and 5 to 10 minutes of progressive aerobic activity sufficient to approach the lower limit of prescribed heart rate for endurance training.
  • The Training Session | 20-60 minutes | Heart Rate 120 bpm – 145 bpm
    • The training session, also called the endurance phase of your workout, is the actual working part of your exercise program. During training, you are breaking down muscle tissue to be rebuilt stronger, leaner, larger. The duration, between 20 to 60 minutes, depends on the intensity of the activity with a heart rate between 70-85% of max heart rate. Moderate-intensity activity should be conducted for longer periods of time and individuals training at higher intensity should train for at least 20 minutes. The most effective exercise for the endurance phase employ large muscle groups in activities that are rhythmic or dynamic in nature.
  • The Cool Down | 5-10 minutes | Heart Rate 70 bpm
    • The cool down period provides a gradual recovery from the endurance phase and includes exercises of diminishing intensities. For example, a cool down includes slower walking or jogging, calisthenics and stretching exercise, and in some cases, yoga, tai chi and relaxation training. After 5 to 10 minutes, the heart rate should return to near resting values.  A cool down is important for reducing the potential for post exercise hypotension and dizziness; facilitates the dissipation of body heat; and promotes the rapid removal of lactic acid.

My Personal Tips to Get Up and Go!

  • Prep Day. Prepare for what activities you’re going to do the night before. Write a plan and visualize yourself doing it. Select your music (or podcast) you can’t wait to listen to. Set aside your workout clothes and shoes. If possible, select and confirm a work out partner who will hold you accountable for the next day’s work out. Even better, sign up for a race and commit to it.
  • Work out early. For me, working out early (even if it requires a 4:30 am wake up call) is better than waiting until 6 pm. Although its challenging (I’m not going to lie), I find I always perform better during the workout and I feel better after. It also ensures no excuses or priorities will get in the way of my work out later in the day.
  • Set (several) alarms and a cup for water. Ok, so the water may sound crazy, but it works. If I get up when my alarm goes off and drink a full glass of water, in that few seconds all excuses of I’m too tired, I don’t feel good, etc disappear and I’m already up. I’m ready to go.
  • Get dressed and Go!
Do you think you can do it? Share with us what your biggest hangups and successes have been with your exercise goals!

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