May 28, 2024

How to Choose an Exercise Program by Justin Ross

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, adults need to exercise for at least 150 minutes at moderate intensity during a week in order to gain health benefits. Exercise is crucial for good mental and physical health. Exercise can help to control weight, improve strength and endurance, and keep chronic illnesses such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome at bay.*

Know Your Fitness Goal

Before you decide which exercise routine to follow, you should have a clear idea of your fitness goal. If you are just starting out because you got an earful the last time you visited the doctor, then your immediate goal may be to reduce weight, or manage your diabetes. You may be one of those who already follow a healthy lifestyle, but now want to dial up the fitness part and train for a marathon or a 5K. You might have some body-building goal in mind, or want to improve your flexibility. You may want to become serious about playing a sport, rather than just going for a weekend game now and then.

Choose an exercise routine specifically to achieve your goal.

For example, if you are just starting out, you may want to start with a low-impact or non-impact aerobic activity and aim for at least 30 minutes five days a week. If its body building you are after, you will need a strength training routine that targets specific muscles, with different sets of muscles coming into play in each session. You also need to figure out if you want to work out at home, outdoors, or at a gym. You may want a full-service health club offering amenities such as a swimming pool, sports options, a sauna and a massage service.

Different Types of Exercise

1. Cardio

Cardio is physical exercise of low to high intensity that causes you to breathe harder, gets your heart beating faster than at rest, and makes you sweat. Walking, running, cycling, swimming and dancing are all examples of aerobic exercise. Start with a moderate routine, and then dial up the intensity. Popular aerobics exercise classes offered by health clubs include spinning, high intensity interval training, dancing, aqua aerobics, and so on. Exercise classes also help you to meet new people and can be more motivating than exercising solo. Remember, if you are a beginner to exercise, or have any health condition, you should always talk to a doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

2. Strength Training

This is a form of exercise designed to strengthen the muscles, either by using weights such as free weights, kettlebells, or resistance bands, or by using the body’s own weight. A strength training routine should target different sets of muscles on successive days. There are many exercise routines that combine cardio and strength training; this combination has the dual benefit of increasing your fitness and enhancing your strength. Since strength training can lead to injury if not done correctly, it is a good idea to use a personal trainer, at least in the initial days, so as to learn the correct form. Confirm your trainer is certified by the American Council on Exercise. You can then be rest assured that your trainer knows what she is doing.

3. Sports

Whether a team sport or an individual effort, sports can be a great way of building exercise into your daily schedule. Choose your sport based on your fitness level, familiarity with the sport, access to the proper facilities; don’t forget to consult your doctor.

Justin Ross is a marketing manager at New York Health & Racquet Club. With 20 years of experience in health and fitness, Justin loves to write and talk about different aspects of healthy living. For more info go to, Facebook and follow along via Twitter.


*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.


Friendly Competition?

Get Fit Quick Tip

Add in a little friendly competition to increase exercise motivation and adherence. No equipment needed. Recruit friends, family or co-workers to participate in an Exercise Challenge. Agree upon a prize or reward for the winner. Each participant logs total workout time each week. Add up your total at the end of the month. The participant with most logged workout time wins the prize, but everyone wins with improved health and fitness!


Our Get Fit Quick tip will always be easy to remember and you’ll be able to implement it the very same day. Our tip will be so clear and concise you’ll be motivated to forward it to all your friends and family to inspire them to live healthy and fit as well.

Take your exercise outdoors! By Tera Busker

When the weather is beautiful, the last thing we want to do is be cooped up inside any longer than we have to. Step out of the gym and head out to your local park to change up the scenery for your  workout. Always consult your physician before participating in exercise. The following exercises are for those without injury concerns.

Walk or jog 5 minutes around the park.

Beginners: 10 reps each exercise for 1-3 circuits, resting 30 seconds between exercises
Intermediate: 15 reps each exercise for 2-3 circuits, resting 15 seconds between exercises
Advanced:  20 reps for each exercise for 3 circuits, no rest between exercises or do 30 seconds of jumping jacks between exercises

1. Platform Pushups
Find a platform like a bench or a step. Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the platform. Keeping the back flat, core tight and hips down, perform a pushup. Make sure the movement comes from the elbow and shoulders – not the hips.

2. Bench Step Ups
Using a bleacher or a bench, step up on to it with your left foot. Use and up, up, down, down cadence. After 30 seconds, switch and step up starting with your right leg.

3. Plank
To get into the plank position, start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the ground, being careful not to arch your back or stick your hips in the air.

4. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are very similar to the way walk but include an extra element, the lunge. With your right leg, lunge forward about three feet until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee is nearly touching the floor. Pause momentarily and then repeat the forward motion with your left leg. Make this exercise harder, try doing the walking lunges up a hill.

5. Bench Dips
Head back to the park bench and have a seat. Grab the edge of the bench keeping your hands close to your hips. Walk your feet forward slightly until your hips are off of the platform and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Bending your shoulders and elbows, bring your hips straight down towards the floor. Push yourself back up.

6. Hanging Abs
This one is tough! Hang from the high monkey bars. (Your feet should not be able to touch the ground.) Pull your knees up towards your chest and then lower them back to your starting position. Be sure to keep the movement slow and controlled. This is an ab exercise, so try not to use the momentum and swing the legs.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI.

Log it!

Get Fit Quick Tip

Log your workouts! Logging can be as simple as a check-mark on your calendar or as detailed as making note of all specifics. Logging your workout provides visual reinforcement of your efforts! You’ll increase motivation by seeing how far your fitness has come.


Check back often for your useful and practical healthy living and fitness tip! Our Get Fit Quick tip will always be easy to remember and you’ll be able to implement it the very same day. Our tip will be so clear and concise you’ll be motivated to forward it to all your friends and family to inspire them to live healthy and fit as well!

Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow…NEXT!

Are you looking for fitness and healthy living motivation? Here’s the fifth in our series, Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow…

“I wanted to share my passion for fitness nutrition and healthy living” explains Jana, creator of the blog, Bananas for Balance. She launched her blog in July of 2013 and posts 4-5 times each week. In her blog, you’ll find everything health, fitness and wellness-related.

Bananas for Balance is for everyone, but especially for those “who have a love of fitness and nutrition or people looking to start healthy habits.” Jana says her favorite post thus far is When Happiness Becomes a Choice.  In this post, Jana shares part of her personal story. So, if you need a little inspiration, this is a must-read.

If you’re a runner, you’ll especially enjoy a section on Jana’s blog, called November Project. Started in Boston and now expanded to fifteen cities, they are a free fitness group. “No official membership, just show up” encourages Jana. She shares her experiences with the group and various workouts. Your fitness will be motivated!

So if you want to get excited about your fitness and healthy living, be sure to sign up for her automatic updates here! Connect with Jana on Twitter @NanasforBalance and Facebook at Bananas for Balance.

Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow- next up

Our fourth installment of our Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow series. Take a look and consider adding it to your go-to healthy lifestyle motivation list:

“If I can do it, you can do it” says blogger and runner Chris Stetler. Chris is the founder of blog Never Trade What You Want The Most For What You Want Right Now. Now in its sixth year, you’ll find posts on healthy living topics across the board. “I would like to think I am an example of someone who doesn’t fit the running mold- I’m not fast, I’m not thin, I’m not going to come in the top three rather I’m worried I’ll come in last. But I go out and try” explains Chris. She writes about all things related to running, fitness, healthy eating and posts about three to five times each week.

Chris began her blog as a way to document her health and fitness goals. She especially enjoys the interaction from her readers. “They give me a new perspective on things, ideas on how to improve, or just showing me someone cares” shares Chris. Her blog has expanded to include race reports, weekly happenings, and workouts, just to name a few. People of all ages and fitness levels will relate and find support in her posts.

Sign up to receive automatic updates of Never Trade What You Want The Most For What You Want Right Now here!