5 Elements of a Fitness Routine

Individually, different components of exercise have their purpose. But when combined, you get a powerful, balanced fitness regimen that promotes optimal health. A balanced routine includes these five elements of good health: aerobic fitness, strength training, core strengthening, balance training, and stretching and flexibility.

Aerobic Fitness

Cardio, as aerobic fitness is most commonly referred to, is any activity that gets your heart rate pumping and your pulse rate increasing, oxygenating your blood. All of this increases your stamina, which is great for your heart health and overall wellness. In fact, aerobic exercise should be the foundation of every fitness regimen.

Examples of aerobic fitness: running, speed walking, stair climbing, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, stair climbing, and high-intensity interval training.
Recommended frequency: 150 minutes of moderate aerobic acidity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week; or a combination of moderate and vigorous.

Strength Training

Just like aerobic exercise, weight-bearing exercises also play a crucial role in your overall health. Lifting weights can increase muscle strength and bone density, tone muscles, increase metabolism, and help manage your weight.

Examples of strength training: resistance machines at the gym, free weights, barbells, resistance bands, push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, lunges, and squats.
Recommended frequency: at least twice a week.

Core Strengthening

Your core muscles—the ones in your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis—are vital to protecting your back by bracing your spine, making it easier to do many daily activities. This is increasingly important as we age.

Examples of core strengthening: bridges, abdominal crunches, planks, Pilates, hanging leg raises, oblique reaches, and fitness ball exercises.
Recommended frequency: at least twice a week.

Balance Training

Another part of core strengthening is balance training. By adding balance exercise to a fitness routine, you stabilize your core muscles which improve overall stability. As you age, your balance begins to decline, which can lead to falls and fractures, so balance training is essential for longevity of movement.

Examples of balance training: yoga, tai chi, and Pilates.
Recommended frequency: two to three times a week.

Stretching and Flexibility

Stretching can help increase flexibility, increase circulation, increase range of motion, improve posture, and calm your mind.

Examples of stretching exercises: runners stretch, standing side stretch, forward hang, low lunge arch, and the seated back twist.
Recommended frequency: after every time you exercise.

Need a helping hand?

LHAA’s Personal Fitness Training interns are a great avenue to pursue if you or someone you know is looking for an affordable way to learn more about weight lifting, aerobic exercise, stretching, etc. in the gym. If you’re interested in joining a yoga class, be sure to browse through our yoga studio page and give us a call if you have any questions!