Even if you are constantly hiking, biking or otherwise on the go, you may not be reaping the full benefits of your active lifestyle. Perhaps your workouts are too short and infrequent. Maybe they don't include all the elements that will maximize your benefits. To get into or stay in tip-top shape, follow a few weekly fitness tips.
Cardiovascular exercise gets your heart rate up and keeps your weight down. An ideal weekly routine includes at least 20 minutes of intense cardio four times a week, according to Shape Magazine. Even that brief period of cardio will keep your heart rate higher for up to four hours, burning extra calories along the way.
Your range of cardio choices is enormous. A brisk bike ride, power walking or jogging, a treadmill workout, swimming or even a moderate hike are all ideal choices. The more moderate the workout, the more time you should spend on it to reap the same benefits as a more intense workout.
Weight or strength training is another must for an effective weekly workout routine. Shape Magazine says you'll see benefits in as few as two 30-minute workouts per week. The key to weight training is to pick a routine that works your major muscle groups: upper body, lower body and abdomen. Exercise machines with weight attachments and free weights are equally effective.
Weight training keeps you toned, builds muscle and increases your overall metabolism, burning more calories than you would without it.
You can enhance your weekly fitness routine even further with yoga. Yoga strengthens your core muscles while it keeps you flexible, balanced and gives you an overall sense of well-being. Practicing yoga at least once a week can also reduce tension, improve posture and generally help you become more relaxed.
Yoga Journal notes the calmness you find on your yoga mat during your routine can begin to be a part of your daily life, affecting everything from your overall mood to the way you deal with others. Even one 15- to 20-minute yoga session per week is enough to reap the benefits.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.