• Kel

How to Exercise Correctly for Your Fitness Goals

Updated: Jul 10, 2021



Learn How YOU Should Exercise


Are the exercises you are performing the best options when it comes to reaching your goal? How confident do you feel about your form when you exercise? Do you know how to make proper adjustments to your plan? Although doing something is better than nothing, if you are like most people, you are doing a lot of guesswork when it comes to exercising. In order to reap the health benefits and achieve optimal results with exercise, you need to strengthen your knowledge from a credible source.

This article outlines a few key elements that are important for you to know and understand when it comes to learning how to exercise correctly.

What Should Be Included in A Fitness Plan

All effective fitness plans should include these 3 activities to address the complete picture of physical fitness which are

  • Aerobic

  • Muscular Strength

  • Flexibility

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise is great for your cardiovascular system and is an important part of weight management. Health Benefits:

  • Increases your endurance by speeding up your heart rate and breathing

  • Helps to relax blood vessel walls

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Burns body fat

  • Lowers blood sugar levels

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Boosts mood

  • Raises “good” HDL cholesterol

  • Reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression

Aerobic exercises can be as simple as walking, jogging, jumping rope and dance-exercising. You should aim for 150-minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75-minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both spread throughout the week to exercise correctly.

Muscular Strength

You do not need to be a bodybuilder to add strength training into your workout regimen, and people of any age can greatly benefit from strength training. Health Benefits:

  • Maintain your independence as you age

  • Improve your quality of life

  • Strengthen and preserve your muscle tissue

  • Strengthen your bones

  • Reduce your risk of falling

  • Improve control of blood sugar

  • Increase your metabolism

  • Improve your body composition to less fat and more muscle

  • Reduce your resting blood pressure

  • Speed up the rate at which food moves through your digestive system, reducing risk of colon cancer

  • Reduce your risk of low back injury

  • Elevate your mood and your self-confidence

  • Relieve pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Enhance recovery from stroke or heart attack

Strength training can include using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or your own body weight. To exercise correctly, you’ll need to add moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening exercises into your routine at least 2 days per week.

Flexibility

Flexibility is primarily due to one’s genetics, gender, age, body shape and level of physical activity. As people grow older, they tend to lose flexibility, usually as a result of inactivity, but partially because of the aging process itself. Health Benefits:

  • Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion

  • May reduce your risk of injury

  • Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains

  • Improves posture

  • Helps reduce or manage stress

  • Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation

  • Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance

  • Prepares the body for the stress of exercise

  • Promotes circulation

  • Decreases the risk of low-back pain

Try to add at least 5-minutes of post-workout static stretches at least 3 days per week by stretching to the point of mild discomfort (no pain) for 3 sets of each stretch and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Increasing your flexibility will support other areas of your fitness routine and help you exercise correctly.

Factors to Consider When Exercising

There are quite a few factors that contribute to a well-executed workout such as:

  • Maintaining good form

  • Variation in your workout

  • Adjusting weights

  • Reaching your target heart rate

Maintaining Good Form

Incorrect weight training form can lead to sprains, strains, fractures and other painful injuries that you want to prevent from happening. Take time to learn how to do each exercise correctly by moving through the full range of motion in your joints. The better form you have, the better your results, and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. If you’re unable to maintain good form, try to decrease the weight or lower the number of repetitions. Don’t forget that proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the racks. It’s important to work with an individual who is educated in body mechanics; doing so allows you to work out safely and make steady progress toward your long-term goals.

Variation in Your Workout

Working out challenges your muscle fibers to the breaking point and creates an opportunity for them to rebuild. These rebuilt fibers are thicker and stronger than before. When you do the same workout over and over, your body adapts to that form of stress, but eventually that exercise will no longer benefit you the way it used to. This causes stagnation in your progress.

As such, it’s important to incorporate variation into your fitness regimen. This might mean changing the number of sets and repetitions, combination of exercises, intensity, amount of days you workout, or the amount of time you spend on an activity. There are a handful of other ways to introduce variety into your workout routine, but they require precision. If you work with a Personal Trainer, you have someone at hand who can help manipulate the details of your exercise plan on a weekly basis to ensure success

Adjusting Weights

Adjusting weights requires that perfect blend of variation and consistency. Developing a steady trajectory for your lifting plan will allow you to build upon previous progress and increase overall muscle tone. However, the impact of your choices stretches even further. Lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions, versus lighter weights for more repetitions, can have drastically different impacts on your body.

Lifting heavier weights is an excellent way to protect and strengthen your bones. In turn, stronger bones can prevent or reduce your chance of developing osteoporosis later in life. Evidence also shows that those who exercise with heavier weights build muscles that burn more energy, even while at rest. If you’re hoping to increase your metabolism, you need the know-how to find that threshold where your body is stressed enough. A trainer can help you determine the minimum weight needed for someone of your stature and strength.

On the other hand, completing more repetitions with lower weights can count as cardiovascular exercise. Consequently, it burns more calories during your workout. Incorporating this type of lifting can be a great addition to a program geared toward increasing endurance or improving heart health. Again, determining how many repetitions you should aim to complete is crucial to exercise correctly and achieving your desired results. Regardless of your goals, guidance toward how to incorporate different weights into your program will ensure your entire plan is geared toward your goals.

Reaching Your Target Heart Rate

Cardiovascular exercises are geared toward strengthen your heart, which provides life-long benefits and may prevent cardiac injury as you grow older. However, the key to improving your cardiovascular health lies in reaching and maintaining an appropriate heart rate. Depending on your long-term goals, there are a range of target heart rates that you can aim for during your workout.

If you aren’t familiar with how to determine your current heart rate, working with a knowledgeable individual can help. A personal trainer can teach you how to find your resting rate, as well as the ideal target range for mild, moderate, or intense workouts. Maintaining an appropriate heart rate while exercising improves the safety of your workout and the effectiveness of your routine.

Do You Lack the Knowledge You Need?

Being equipped with knowledge on how to exercise correctly can positively contribute and ease the process towards reaching your goals. On the other hand, here are a few common areas people struggle with the most when they don’t know what they are doing.

Unfamiliar with Equipment

Whatever your physical goals are, there are many paths to achieve the strength, speed, and agility you seek. As such, most gyms come stocked with numerous types of equipment to help you reach your goals. Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight machines, and barbells are all common sights. You may also find kettlebells, medicine balls, squat racks, and dip bars.

Each option requires some knowledge of their function. You need to know how to adjust each piece of equipment for your body in order to target the right muscles in a safe manner. Many cardio machines have adjustable speeds, preset programs, and resistance options, but it can be challenging to figure out what it all means and how it will impact your body. Likewise, the variety of benches and free weights can be daunting when you aren’t sure how you’re supposed to use them. If you step into a workout space and feel overwhelmed or confused by the endless possibilities available, you will benefit from being taught how to operate and interact with each device.

Overwhelmed by Conflicting Advice

When seeking to build a workout plan on your own, it’s easy to get lost in the countless cookie-cutter programs available. Everyone, from your friends to your favorite celebrities, has “expert” advice to share. Incorporating advice that is appropriate to your specific fitness level and goals is crucial to achieving successful progress.

How do you determine which exercises incorporate? Although every exercise provides its own benefits, it’s unrealistic to try and incorporate every possible physical activity on a weekly basis. Sifting through advice on which exercises to try and how to link them together into a cohesive plan is challenging. Working with a professional allows you to target your specific goals and ensure the training program is tailored to you.

Feeling Uncomfortable

Whenever you try something new, you need to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable until you get the hang of what you are doing. When it comes to being new to exercising, many people feel discomfort in sweating, being out of breath, soreness, people watching them, and working out alone. Learning and strengthening your knowledge is the solution on how you can face and overcome your discomforts to ultimately crush your goals.

How A Personal Trainer Can Help

What it all comes down to is that you need a tailored plan to reach your goals and learn how to properly execute that plan from each week. When you aren’t sure how to workout properly, you not only put your health at risk, but you also risk accomplishing your goals. Don’t stress yourself out trying to figure all of this out on your own – let a certified Personal Trainer help you.

A Personal Trainer can develop an effective workout plan that is aligned with your specific goals and preferences while keeping you safe. If it is important for you to learn how to feel more confident and comfortable with your exercise program, working with a Personal Trainer can turn that into a reality for you.