A well-planned exercise program addresses several needs. A really well-planned one addresses them all and keeps it efficient and interesting and maybe even fun. Hiring the right trainer can take care of that, but if you prefer to design a program for yourself, you probably want to include:
1. Cardio. If your heart and lungs don’t work, you die. Increasing their efficiency makes everything better. We are all happier when we can get to the top of the stairs with breath left over.
2. Strength. Besides the fact that we need to move ourselves and other heavy objects all the time, strength training improves our metabolisms, builds and maintains our bone density, and makes us look cuter.
3. Flexibility. While we might want to look like classical statues, we probably prefer being able to move. Flexibility training allows us to use all those lovely muscles we have built. Range of motion can be a determining factor in our quality of life, whether that means we can reach the stuff on the shelves above our heads or do a killer butterfly stroke.
4. Mindfulness. This is about breathing and not being stressed, but it’s also about coordination and grace. We can learn where we are in space and use our powerful brains to move our beautiful bodies skillfully.
5. Enjoyment. Finding exercise that gives us joy beyond the relief that it is over can make all the difference. Maybe that’s loud music or a funny exercise buddy rather than the perfect sport. Whatever it is, look for the play aspect.