*A monthly schedule is attached in PDF and Microsoft Word at the bottom of this page. Now let's talk about planning a weekly or monthly schedule...
I often get asked the question of how to plan workouts for a weekly schedule. With so many workout options out there, how do you know what to do each day? If you look at a well-balanced program, every week should include:
Heart-healthy cardiovascular exercise: (you’ll see this as cardio, aerobics, walking workouts). Cardio exercises keeps your heart healthy, reduces health risks, keeps your arteries clear, boosts your mood, burns calories, lowers blood pressure and helps to control blood sugar levels.
Strength training: A lot of cardio workouts also include strength exercises within the workout. For example, squats and lunges are strength exercises but you also want to make sure your upper body and core are being challenged from a strength perspective.
Balance: As we age, balance is something we need to practice and work on to prevent falls. The more we practice, the better we get.
Flexibility: Very few of us spend enough time focusing on flexibility, and a lot of the time, we end up getting injured due to lack of flexibility. It is very important to spend time stretching every day, even if it’s for 5-10 minutes. Ideally, it should be done after a workout but that doesn’t always happen. Lying on the floor or sitting on a chair and stretching while watching TV at the end of the day is something that can easily fit into any schedule. Or, put on relaxation music, stretch and sit quietly in a dimmed room before bedtime to use the time for a combined stretching and mindfulness session.
Knowing the 4 most important aspects of fitness, how should you plan the week? First of all, cardio can be done every single day. We should be moving every day and we do not need a day to do nothing at all. You may hear people saying they’re taking a rest day. A rest day does not mean doing nothing…it means slowing the pace down or doing a gentle workout instead of one that is at a higher intensity. Your rest day might be the day you clean the house, or go for a leisurely walk. Moving every day is good for us physically and is also amazing for our mental health. I think you all know the feeling of how good you feel mentally after a workout.
In terms of strength training, lifting weights 2-3 times a week is great. It might mean doing strength workouts within a cardio workout, such as in my all-in-one workouts that I create, or doing strength workouts on their own. You want the muscles to be challenged in order to get stronger. Lifting weights also gives you stronger bones which will reduce your risk of osteoporosis, increases your metabolism and will help to shape your body so you become more toned. If you really don’t enjoy strength training, do a full body strength workout twice a week or just include it within the all-in-one workouts. Doing some is better than none. I’ll talk more in depth about strength workouts in another post.
Balance can easily be incorporated into a daily routine by even doing 2-3 minutes a day. You’ll also get the balance exercises in my all-in-one workouts.
I am including a full month of workouts which was very kindly created by a subscriber on my YouTube channel. She has given me permission to share this with you. This schedule has combined intermediate, beginner and gentle level workouts within the schedule so depending on your fitness level this might not work for you. But, I hope it does! If you click on the link, it should open up for you and will start playing the YouTube video. There is a PDF and Microsoft Word copy.
If you have any feedback about the schedule, we'd love to hear it!