If you’ve struggled with symptoms like feeling tired all the time, being overweight, or having frequent health problems, you’re likely familiar with the harm an inactive lifestyle can cause. A fun and sustainable fitness routine could be an effective way to turn your life around and start feeling good again.
Although being active is a simple way to improve your health and well-being, getting started can feel challenging and overwhelming. To help you find a fitness routine that’s right for you, we’ve created this guide to help.
What should a balanced fitness routine look like?
If you’re new to this whole fitness thing and don’t know how to get started, we’ve outlined three basic elements of an effective fitness routine. Including these three things will help ensure your exercise regimen is balanced and effective.
Cardiovascular fitness is an integral part of your overall health. Any activity that gets your heart pumping is considered cardio. Examples include:
These types of activities all increase your endurance and cognitive function.1 Cardio workouts have several other benefits as well, such as:2,3
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Better muscle strength
- Fewer viral illnesses
- Better cholesterol levels
- Enhanced mood
- Longer life
Suppose cardio activities like running or biking don’t sound fun. In that case, you might consider trying a virtual running or biking app like Vingo, which allows you to explore cool virtual routes around the globe with friends and customize your indoor workout experience.
2. Strength training
Strength workouts can be any activity that helps strengthen your muscles and bones. Some examples of effective strength training activities include:
- Weight lifting
- Bodyweight exercises
- Resistance bands
These types of exercise can improve your overall health in many ways, such as by:4
- Increasing lean weight and reducing fat
- Improving physical performance and muscle control
- Enhancing cognitive abilities
- Increasing self-esteem
- Improving prevention and management of type 2 diabetes
- Lowering resting blood pressure
- Improving cholesterol levels
- Reducing lower back pain
- Easing discomfort associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Lowering mortality risk
- Enhancing pain management for those with osteoporosis
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
Experts recommend completing strength training activities 2 to 3 days a week, but it’s best to talk to your doctor before tackling any new fitness routine.
If you’re a beginner, you may also want to consider joining an online fitness app to learn proper basic strength training movements and techniques and avoid injuries.
3. Mobility exercises
Mobility exercises are activities that enhance your flexibility and balance. This broad category of fitness activities helps you prevent injuries and maintain your overall health.
Your mobility exercises can just be a series of simple stretches or movements, but some good alternatives are:
- Tai Chi
While some of these can vary and be more strength-focused as well, all of these activities will improve your joints’ normal range of motion, which will help you stay active even as you age.
How do I create my own fitness routine?
Now that you know the basics of a solid fitness routine, here are a few tips to help you establish an exercise regimen for yourself.
Determine your fitness goals.
Before you can find a fitness routine that’s right for you, you’ll need to establish some goals for yourself. Having goals will ensure that your routine is focused and balanced.
Not sure what your goals should be? Some examples of fitness goals include:
- Losing weight
- Establishing a consistent routine
- Learning how to do a specific activity
- Training for a race
- Building muscle mass
- Feeling healthier
There are no right or wrong goals. If you’re struggling to set goals, think about what’s most important to you and go from there. As time passes, you may decide to change or adjust your goals, which is fine too!
Depending on the goals you set for yourself, the intensity, frequency, and type of fitness routine you choose to follow will vary.
Consider your time limitations.
Before committing to a fitness routine, you must determine how much time you will dedicate to your fitness goals daily. This will largely depend on your other responsibilities, such as work, caring for your children or pets, household duties, and other tasks you complete each day.
It may be tempting to fixate on your fitness routine and try to dedicate an hour or more each day, but that’s not sustainable for most people. Overcommitting yourself is a surefire way to burn out quickly. Instead, start small and adjust as you go to find what works best for you.
Choose fitness activities that are FUN.
If you hate your daily workout, you’ll always find a reason to skip it. To create a sustainable fitness routine, choose healthy activities you’ll enjoy and look forward to doing each day.
Start by asking yourself what activities you enjoy. For example, do you like to bike? Maybe you prefer kickboxing. Or perhaps a group yoga class sounds fun. These are all great places to start!
Other examples of fun fitness activities might include:
- Organized sports like soccer, baseball, tennis, or golf
- Rock climbing
- Running (outdoors or virtual indoor running with Vingo)
- Weight training
Focus on creating healthy habits.
A large part of following an effective fitness routine is just showing up. When you’re starting, it’s not about how hard you can push yourself. Your focus should be showing up each day and giving your best effort.
Find your community.
Sticking to a fitness routine alone can be challenging without any support. Connecting with people or finding a fitness buddy can help you stay consistent, even when you feel unmotivated.
As a beginner, joining a virtual training app like Vingo can help you learn a new skill like running or biking, all while keeping things fresh, fun, and exciting. With Vingo, you can quickly get started with any indoor bike or treadmill and engage with people of all fitness levels. The immersive experience makes working out exciting and fun, so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Remember your “why.”
When exercising feels hard, try to remember why you’ve made it a priority. Whether you have a weight loss goal to achieve or want to be around longer to enjoy your kids or grandkids, keeping your goals in mind can help you stay motivated.
Need more help to get moving? Check out our article full of fitness motivation tips here for inspiration.
Ultimately, staying fit shouldn’t be a drag. Keeping things fun and exciting will make exercise an enjoyable lifestyle instead of just another chore on your to-do list.
Key Takeaways:There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to exercise. Finding a fitness routine that works for you is a process, but it’s worth all the time and effort. Start by assessing your goals, schedule, and interests to create a fun and sustainable routine. Incorporating Vingo into your daily routine is an easy, exciting, and free way to exercise and get fit.
- Science Direct. Cardiovascular Fitness. Retrieved from:
- Laukkanen, J. A., Lakka, T. A., Rauramaa, R., Kuhanen, R., Venäläinen, J. M., Salonen, R., & Salonen, J. T. (2001). Cardiovascular fitness as a predictor of mortality in men. Archives of internal medicine, 161(6), 825-831
- Aerobic exercise: Top 10 reasons to get physical. (2022, February 17). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/aerobic-exercise/art-20045541
- Westcott, W. L. (2012). Resistance Training is Medicine. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 209–216. https://doi.org/10.1249/jsr.0b013e31825dabb8