As a fitness professional, I have found the overall best way to get in shape and stay in shape is through functional fitness, intuitive fitness, and variety.
Functional fitness trains your muscles for everyday challenges you may face during work, cleaning, sports, activities, etc.. Functional movements challenge your strength, balance, agility, flexibility, speed, and endurance and use many muscle groups all at once. Think of a thruster- that is a squat moving into an overhead press as you stand up. How many times have you dropped something on the floor and had to squat down to pick it up? How many times have you had to place something in a cabinet higher than your head? These workouts prime your body for life!
Intuitive fitness means waking up and listening to what type of movement your body is asking for that day. You can sync it to your menstrual cycle (some days we are more tired than others), or your work schedule (if you know you are going to be working super hard for a couple days, make your workout 20 minutes instead of 60), or just how achy you are from your last workout (maybe yoga would be best instead of boxing).
We need variety in our workouts because if we do the same exercises over and over again, our bodies will get used to that movement and stop improving. We will hit a plateau. When I owned a gym, I prided myself on never giving the same workout twice. Our bodies want to constantly be challenged! By having such variety within our routine, our metabolism will kick on, our posture will become better, our core strength will develop and waists will shrink. Many also notice they have more of a positive mindset and increased energy levels as well.
For best results I suggest working out 4-5 days per week. Two of the days should be high intensity workouts and the other two to three should be low to medium intensity.
Here is an example of your fitness week focusing primarily on functional fitness with variety. But remember... wake up and feel what your body is asking for.
Monday- Kickboxing (high intensity)
Tuesday- Yoga (low intensity)
Wednesday- Pilates, PiYo, Jogging (medium intensity)
Friday- Strength Training (medium intensity)
Saturday- Sprints (high intensity)
Your peaked interest and involvement in your activity levels are just as important. If you are not enjoying your workouts, you may wind up getting a negative attitude about your fitness routine and not push yourself in the workouts (or worse- stop all together). Make sure to participate in something that gets you excited. That may be working out on your own, it may be joining a specific gym, or running outside, doing yoga in your basement, getting your friends together for an outdoor bootcamp, etc. Find what works for you and make sure to keep it fresh by getting new workout gear, switching up routines, or even fitness music. For me, I know I need the most variety possible so I subscribe to an online library of over 1,000 workouts I can chose from!
If you are interested in receiving more information like this to enhance your body, mind and spirit, than make sure to sign up for Health with Julie's newsletter (its devlivered every Wednesday!). Sign up in the light box that pops up when you log on to this site- you'll get a free Develop Your Intuition Guide as well !