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How should you plan your exercise throughout the week to tick all the boxes without needing to live in the gym? It’s easy when you know how.

What’s important in a weekly exercise plan?

Your personal fitness goals will shape your weekly workout plan. But there are a few fundamental features that everybody needs. After all, the human body has needs! Those include being fit, strong, and protected from injury, with good cardiovascular (heart) health. Here are the four pillars of your weekly exercise plan.

Strength training

Everybody should do some strength training during their weekly exercise plan. Strength training doesn’t have to involve barbells and weights, and you don’t need a gym membership. You might prefer to call it resistance training, since that’s what it is - putting your muscles and bones under a bit of resistance, so you get stronger. Building and maintaining muscle mass is crucial as we age. It keeps your metabolic rate higher, helping with weight management, and it can ward off osteoporosis. And of course a little more muscle helps you look better (because it’s muscle that actually shapes your body).

Cardiovascular training

Cardio is important for your heart health, but it doesn’t have to mean jogging or using the static cardio machines at the gym. CV training is anything that works up a sweat and gets your heart pumping. Choose a form of cardio you enjoy and do it 2-3 times a week. Swimming, cycling, fast walking, hiking local trails, dancing, or group exercise classes are great choices.

Active recovery

Rest and recovery should be part of your weekly plan, too. Make your recovery active by keeping your body moving. Go out for a gentle walk, do yoga, go for a swim, or enjoy some stretching. The aim here is to keep supple.

Everyday activity

It’s important to look at how active you are during the day, not just when you are exercising. Pay attention to how much time you spend sitting down during the day. How can you move more, and gently challenge your body as it meant to move? Everyday activity will burn extra calories, ward off aches and pains, and keep you fitter later in life. It’s a great habit to put in place.

Strapped for time? Check out these eight easy ways to fit exercise into a hectic lifestyle. Shop Sports Nutrition

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