What’s An IDEAL ‘Holistic Fitness’ Routine?

    In these past two weeks, we’ve been discussing holistic fitness training and defined four components of a complete exercise program: aerobic, strength, flexibility, and inner-body training. In this post, we’ll talk about an ideal order for these exercises.

    This is not to say that this ideal order is the only way to do it, or that you can’t do each of these components alone, by themselves, or in other combinations, but I think you’ll see the good logic in this order of training:

    Begin your exercise with aerobic or cardio-vascular training. Contrary, to the common practice of stretching first (which sets you up for potential injury and lower performance) aerobic exercise will gently warm up your muscles and tendons, increase your metabolic rate and cardio-pulmonary efficiency, and generally get you ready to do your other exercises. Begin by doing your chosen exercise at a slow pace, then gradually increase your pace to your desired intensity.

    After aerobic exercise, your muscles are prepared for strength training. When you have done a thorough cardio warmup you won’t need warm-up sets and can get right into working at your desired intensity level efficiently. As a general rule, exercise your large muscles in your legs first, then the larger muscles in your upper body, then your arms, and finish with your core . Since you do not need, nor is it recommended, to do strength training everyday or every time you workout, on some days you’ll go right from aerobic training into flexibility training.

    After aerobic or strength training is the ideal time for flexibility training. Stretching is a good cool-down. It lengthens muscles that may have tightened in response to your aerobic or strength training and it initiates the recovery process.

    Finally, at the end of your workout is the ideal time for inner body or meditative exercise. Your natural relaxation response has been activated by your physical activity and your natural endorphins are flowing. Because of this you are able to easily enter into deeper relaxation and focus.

    I’d love to hear your experiences with following this exercise order in your workouts.

    Enjoy your training!

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. To learn more about the ‘Holistic Fitness Training’ Program click here

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