You’re tired of hiding your eyes when you step on the scale and you’re ready to get active and get fit. That’s great news! The problem, however, often lies in how to get from Point A to Point B. This is where a solid workout routine becomes essential.

But, just what is meant by a “solid” routine? Isn’t one plan just as good as another? This isn’t necessarily so. A good routine will involve four critical aspects, each of which are important to explore closely. They are:

• Cardiovascular – This is the kind of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster and your blood pumping. Running, swimming, aerobic classes and much more all fit into this type of exercise. This component is critical because it aids in fat burning, increases endurance and can improve cardiovascular health, as well.
• Strength training – Performing some kind of weight training is a vital part of any workout routine, as well. You don’t have to work out like a body builder to get great results either. Just simple lifting to tone and strengthen the muscles can create fantastic results. Strength training is important because developing lean muscle mass can assist fat burning and it can help you keep that fat off once it’s gone.
• Stretching – This is a critical component of a workout routine because it helps prevent injuries. Stretching can also assist with flexibility, which is important to maintain throughout life. Gentle, targeted stretches can also alleviate muscle aches and pains. It’s best to perform stretches during a workout warm-up period and to cool down with a few gentle moves, as well.
• Time – The time factor is one many people overlook. You don’t have to work out seven days a week, two hours at a time to see results. In fact, going overboard can backfire quickly. To get the best results, try a four-five-day schedule and aim for 30 to 60 minutes with each workout. Sometimes less is more and this is often the case with exercise. If you can’t handle four/five days a week to start out, shoot for three or four and work your way up to the ideal. Keep the workouts concise and intense!

If you’re ready to get into shape, a good workout routine is essential. Developing one that will work for weight loss, maintenance and overall health improvements calls for all four components.

If you’re not sure how to get started or you need support along the way, speak with your personal trainer or talk to the fitness pros at your local gym. They will be more than happy to help you get off on the right foot and will work with you to ensure you stay on task.