Complete Workout Regimen
The human physical form is the Marvel of Evolution and a statement of nature’s perfection – superbly strong to perform its tasks, flexible, and energetic. Nature had nurtured it – and perfected it to withstand the rigors of a harsh environment and to maintain its status as the dominant species on this planet. It has been tuned and programmed for an active and demanding lifestyle that was needed to meet the challenges posed to it.
To retain our natural physical strength and capabilities, we need to pay heed to our own nature, and maintain an active and natural lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle is an unnatural way of living that leads us to lose our natural supremacy in the animal kingdom.
On the other hand, every one is so much bogged down with chores of the daily routines – job, grocery shopping, fun-shopping, web-surfing, friends, games, and TV shows, etc., that there is hardly any time or will left to indulge in workouts. But, if your are willing to enjoy a vibrant life – and the joys associated with it, I am presenting below, under separate categories, simple and practical workout regimens for every age group that can be easily incorporated in your daily routines.
I am a firm believer in self-maintenance. I have been active all my life. It is difficult for me to sit in a place for more than two hours at a time. I perform a variety of forms and exercise to keep myself energized, and my body in the best possible shape.
Over the years, I have thoughtfully developed a system of exercises and forms that, taking into account the constraints of the time that our busy life imposes upon most of us, optimizes the health benefits. A lot of people – both the born-health-conscious-lot and the ‘newly-converted-ones’ – have been enjoying a happier and healthier lifestyle since they adopted these workout routines.
Of course, our needs and the natural demand and intensity for physical workouts change along with the age. Naturally, we have to listen to the demands of our body as we age, and adjust accordingly. If you have been sedentary for a long time (more than a year), or if your workout is limited to lifting the remote control, please start slowly and give your heart and joints enough time to adjust. But, remain persistent. Let’s not be The Weekend Warriors.
The workouts and exercises outlined below are designed to help you put on track to health and fitness – and keep you there. If you are already on the fitness trail, and your program works for you, stick with it. There is plenty of information and video clips on the Youtube to guide you. Those people have done a great job by putting a lot of useful information for the public use. Though, most of the information is geared towards the group that needs it the least – people who are already into workouts, and are in good physical shape – caution is advised if you are just starting out.
The idea here is to introduce you to the basic exercises to keep your body in a tip-top shape – not to make body-builder out of you. Special attention has been paid to device the workout regimens fit to the needs of those who need it most – the Advanced Age group, and the sedentary lifestylers.
Workouts for The Fun & General Well-being
Incorporating a simple regimen of regular and well-thought workouts is enough to maintain good health and remain energized and vibrant. Even brief sessions of exercise on a daily basis, go a long way to promote general health and a feeling of well-being.
All you need is to assign a 30-60 minute session to perform a series of exercises. During this time, while doing the physical workout, you may also go in a meditative state to connect with yourself inner-self, and focus on your brain and the thoughts occurring there. Willfully instruct your brain to relax and calm down. Slowly, with practice and persistence, you will learn the art to take control of your thoughts, and of your brain. The feeling of calmness and self-assurance that comes along with being in command of your own brain is beyond the description.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about the mind control, you may chose to enjoy your favorite music, or simply watch the TV while doing the workouts. Any way, you can make your workout sessions the moments of relaxation and fun.
Workout Regimen – Age Group 15 – 20 Years
Unless the Colas and Mc-King have already transformed you into a profit center of the Big Pharma, you are naturally full of energy at this age point. You are primed to build the foundation for a strong and healthy body that will help you keep enjoying the life even in your mature years.
Whatever the age be, the heart is always the focus of all workouts. Aerobic exercises – Jogging, Skating, Swimming, Tennis, Squash or any fast paced and high intensity game, spanning a minimum of 20-30 minutes period, are a must. Make sure to warm-up and perform body stretches and joint loosening exercises (as explained in the section for advanced age group) both prior to and after your aerobic bouts.
Supplement the aerobic session with sets of Push-ups, weights and Chin-Bar exercises. Just don’t yet start Weight Squats. It will hinder you vertical growth. Military Weigh Presses should be incorporated only after the age 18. Light weight Dumbbells and Chest Presses are fine. Observe the right breathing techniques all the times; exhale as you exert the effort.
Those of you who have the inclination for more adventure, I will strongly suggest joining a good Martial Arts school. Nothing beats the martial arts training for strength, agility and flexibility. It will instill confidence, self-control and self-respect in you. Practice in martial arts helps suppress the urge to prove yourself.
Eat diet high in protein and low in sugar. Alcohol is good for cleaning and disinfecting purposes – don’t ruin your organs just to make the distillery industry rich! It is more fun to be healthy, strong, and in control and command of yourself.
Workout Regimen – Age Group 20 – 50 Years
If you have just entered your 20s – Welcome to the mature league. You are almost ready to assume the responsibility that is about to fall on your shoulder – You better have some strong shoulders. Even if you have been inactive so far, it is time to start out now and build a strong and sturdy body. You are going to need it for the years to come. It is also the time to adopt healthy eating habits, and to say good bye to junk food.
During this entire 30 years span – from 20 to 50, the human body is in its prime. It keeps on developing and retaining its density and structural strength. You can endure, and benefit from the toughest of the workouts. Stamina is high, along with the bursts of energy needed for the high impact and high intensity bouts.
With the burst of energy making you to do the craziest of the things, it will be prudent to be kind to your joints. You need to guard and preserve your joints and the delicate ligaments that connects the bits and pieces of your body together, and allow for the smooth locomotion. You must observe the right techniques, whether performing the stress exercises or doing extensive stretching.
The reality of life is that, unless you are a professional athlete, or a bodybuilder, you don’t have the luxury of more than an hour to complete your entire workout. You will need an additional 30 minutes to shower and freshen up after the workouts. The best approach is to do the lower body and aerobic exercises one day, and the upper body and strength exercises the next day. Take a day off after the two workouts.
Warm-up routine is a must to avoid the joint and ligament injuries, and, at the same time, to make the heart ready for the task – a five-minute low impact in-spot jogging, body twists and leg stretches will do.
Aerobic and Lower Body Session:
For the lower body and aerobics, Jog in Place for 10-minutes. Change the tempo to a twisting motion from your hips while the legs are still moving in a jogging manner – perform Rabbit-jumps in between. Keep it up for an additional 5-minutes. Slow the tempo down before coming to stop. Take five deep breaths, and then do the leg stretches to 20 counts.
If you have access to an elliptical machine or similar equipment, do a 15-minute run on it. (If you don’t, increase your jog in-place session to 20 minutes). Two minutes relaxation time before the squat session.
To do the squats you will need a 5 ft straight weight bar and some weight plates for it. Start with the weight bar alone – with out any weights. As you develop muscles, stamina, and the balance, start adding weight plates to the bar – reaching to 100 lbs (50 Kg).
Keep your posture erect, stomach muscles tight and shoulders in a straight line. Your feet and knees should be straight – perpendicular to your shoulder line. The weight bar, held tight in your hands – palms facing forward, is resting on your shoulders. Keep your torso straight all the times, and the feet flat (wearing sneakers). Inhale as you go down, and exhale as you come up. Start with the one set of ten. Increase gradually to 5 sets of 20 each.
No need to take the weights off your shoulders – you can walk easy with the weights on while in between the sets. Men can put weights to up to 150 lbs. The Superior Gender ones (Ladies), though, should limit the weights to no more than 50 lbs.
Follow up with 20 leg stretches (as explained in the section for the Advanced Age group).
Abs & Mid-Section:
Keep in mind that your mid-section holds the entire upper , and our legs are also connected to it. You need a strong, muscular and flexible mid-section. Mid-section muscles, as a group, protect and support your spine and the spinal cord. This entire muscle-group must be exercised together, and not in isolation. Isolation workouts like Sit-Ups and some styles of Crunches must be a NO NO, as these movements put the most vulnerable section of the spine in danger of getting injured.
I recommend exercises that are natural to our body, and, also, keep the spine straight and taut during the entire motion sequences. Remember, in real life, your ab muscles work in tandem with all the other mid-section muscles – your back and the gluteal muscles, in order to keep your spine stabilized and well guarded. Therefore, it makes sense to train all the mid-section muscles together as a group.
Abs and Mid-Section exercises must be included in both the Lower Body and Upper Body exercise sessions.
∘ Upper Body Strength Session:
Always start with the warm ups and stretches.
Push-ups force you to work several muscles at once. It forces your core muscles to stabilize your trunk, as your arms and back work to move the body up and down. It challenges thew abdominal muscle group, front of your legs, your arms, and your back. That is how you use those muscles in the real life situations. Do the push up for a strong and supportive mid-section.
There are various versions of push-ups. My favorite is using push-up handle-bars and having your feet 3-stairs up on a staircase. As you go down, your wrists should be in line with your navel – This causes your hand and torso muscles to go under maximum stress, and, at the same time, keeps your back straight during the entire motion. To start with, you may keep your hands a bit forward to make the motion easier. Both genders should shoot for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Inhale as you go down and exhale as you push up.
You can follow up with the fingertip push-ups as you advance.
The Leg Lifts-ups:
Leg lift-ups are great for a strong mid-section and flat abs. Lie flat on your back, with your hands at the base of your spine for added support. Raise your legs up to a 90 degree angle, then very slowly lower them until they’re only a couple of inches from the floor. Hold the legs in this position for a count of 5, then lift the legs up again – very slow. Repeat until your stomach muscles feel like they are on fire. You may feel like the heat coming from your ears! Shoot for the 5 sets of 20 repetitions each.
The Bench Press:
Bench Press is the simplest and the easiest of all the weight exercises. Weight should be just enough for you to feel the stress while lifting up. Make sure to go very slow – hold at the max lift position for a count of 5. Do 3 sets of 10 each.
Shoulder Exercises, like the Military Press, are the most effective exercises to build strong upper body. For the balance and agility’s sake, I recommend doing standing presses. Use a 5 ft weight bar and the weights appropriate to your capabilities. Bend with your knees to lift the weights – remember; lift with the legs, not with your back. Keep your torso and legs tense and stretched when lifting the weights. Do 3 sets of 10 lifts behind the head, and 2 sets front of your head.
The Dumbbells Curls:
I suggest only the men to indulge in it. Do 3 sets of 10 each with the appropriate weights. Keep your upper arm stationary and close to your ribs during the entire motion. Lift with slow and smooth motion using the force of your arms.
Dumbbell Arm Lifts:
Dumbbell Arm Lifts is for the men and women both. Hold the dumbbells in your hands, with the palms facing your thighs. Now lift the both dumbbells simultaneously – with both hands extending out to the sides, in a slow motion. Return slowly. 3 sets of 10 each.
The Chin Bars:
Chin Bar exercises are fantastic. They stretch your entire body and strengthen the lean muscles that are useful in real life. Do 2 sets of 10 each of the four types of chin-ups: Extra wide grip – palms-in and palm-out. Narrow grip – palms-in and palms-out. As always- plan to progress slowly.
Wind down the session with Kegel Exercises as explained in the later part.
Workout Regimen – Advanced Age Group
Welcome to the corridor of admirals. But, you still need strong hands and sturdy legs to hold on to the helms. You still have a long way to go – but, consider winding down a bit to better enjoy the beauty of life.
Essentially, the same routines apply to you as to the juniors who are following on your heels. Depending on your energy level, you may consider doing workouts on alternate days. One day for aerobics and lower body workout, and the next for the Upper Body and strength training.
Warm-ups and stretching exercises take a priority here. Start with the jogging in place for 5 minutes. Follow up with hand swings, mid-body twists and waist-bends (forward, backward, and side-wards) – make sure you bend at your waistline. Please, don’t cheat by bending from knees!
The Body Stretch:
Stand straight, feet at shoulder length apart, hands up and above your head, interlink your fingers and turn palms upward. Stretch your hands all the way upward, as if you were trying to lengthen your entire body. You must feel the stretch in you shoulder sockets and abdomen. Breath easy. Now, while in this posture, bend backward as much as you can and hold for as long as you can – up to 30 seconds. Return back to the erect and stretched position, and do the similar bends to both sides – hands all the time up and stretched, fingers interlocked. Return to the start position, and bend forward – trying to touch the floor – back fully stretched and in a straight line – hold for 30 second count. Return back slowly. Unlock hands and relax.
Knee and Pelvic Joints:
Knee and Pelvic Joint loosening exercises are a must. Stand with both knees and feet touching each other. Cup your knees lightly with your hands, and bend a bit from the knees (you will be bending a bit from the waist also). Swing your knees in as wide a circle as possible – 10-20 times in both directions. Now, stand erect with open hands on your pelvic bones at the side, Make circular motions with your hips while keeping your body straight – 10-20 times in both directions.
Follow up with a 15-20 minute aerobic session of in place Jogging or on the elliptical machine/treadmill. Breath deep all the times.
Give yourself a 5 minutes relaxation time. Do Full Leg Stretches. Stand straight, feet as far apart as possible and perpendicular to the shoulder line. Bend slightly forward to grasp the outer side of your legs at just above the knees – finger forward and thumbs at the rear. Now, while keeping your torso upright, bend on one leg – as if you are trying to sit on that leg – let your other leg stretch on the floor. Stretching leg must remain straight and the foot flat on the floor. Repeat with the other leg while reversing the position of legs. Do 20 repetitions.
Now, perform a similar stretch, but this time the stretching foot makes a vertical to the floor – stretching the back of the entire leg. Do 20 repetitions.
Proceed with the Squats. Limit the weights according to your strength and capability. Shoot for 3 sets of 20 each. Plan to advance slowly and steadily.
End this lower body and aerobic session with a bit more of leg and body stretches.
Upper Body Workouts:
For the Upper Body Follow the same routine as recommended for the juniors(!) Just reduce the intensity and weight according to your position on the time-line.
Make sure to give yourself a day off either every two sessions, or do workouts on alternate days – as we age, the recovery process slows down, ans our body needs more time to recuperate.
Kegels for Every Session
Each session of workouts should end with this simple Kegel Exercise. Lie down flat on your back, with your legs folded and feet as close to your hips as possible – and, around 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Your hands touching your ears or under your head. Now, lift your hips straight up while squeezing you hip, pelvic and abdomen muscles altogether at the same time. (Imagine making a right triangle – with the floor as the base, shins as the short side, and your upper legs and torso the hypotenuse of the triangle.) Hold this posture for 2 minutes, or as long as you can – all the pelvic and abdomen muscles remaining squeezed and taut. Shoot for three repetitions of 2 minutes duration each.
This exercise helps both men and women develop stronger internal muscles in the mid-section area that, in turn, enhance the performance and functionality of all the operations that relate to the mid-body section.
Men of the planet, if you do these exercises regularly, you won’t need to throw your money on Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. Ladies are also not left out; these exercises are also very effective in enhancing the sexual desire, and in providing anatomical strength to women. Better bladder and bowel control are the other fringe benefits.
To Keep the Engine Ready and Running
Beside the workout regimens, incorporate in your life brief sessions of Warm Up, Stretching and Kegel Exercises two to three times a day, especially after the meals and before the bedtime. These brief sessions of 5-7 minutes each will keep you energized all day and all night.
Caution and Notes
- If you have a medical condition, follow the advice of your health care professional.
- If you have been sedentary for a long time, start slowly and give your body plenty of time to adapt.
- If you feel overly exhausted, or out of breath, seek medical advice.
- Have a medical check up done prior to starting any physical activity after a long period of inactivity.
- Wear good sneakers or gym shoes for traction and ankle support.
- Always give yourself some time to rest and relax after each workout session.
Above all, relax and enjoy the beauty of life.