Developing a healthy lifestyle requires more that merely watching what a person puts into his or her mouth. Of course, eating right is an extremely important element of an overall healthy living program. But, when it comes to creating a truly meaningful approach to weight loss, a truly healthy approach to shedding pounds, eating is only part of the battle. While monitoring and controlling what a person eats is well, good and necessary, a person needs to make certain that he or she is including reasonable and responsible exercise in his or her overall daily healthy living routines.

In the final analysis, when it comes to developing a diet plan for a healthy life, one that will allow a man or woman the ability to lose or keep weight off, that person needs to work a program that is all encompassing. He or she needs a program that involves a commitment to eating appropriate food and that includes regular exercise.

The Three Elements of a Meaningful Exercise Program

A person committed to healthy eating for a better life understands that in order to accomplish this commendable goal, a balanced diet involving different types of food is necessary and vital. In the same vein, when it comes to crafting an exercise program that is effective and beneficial, it is important to recognize that such a plan requires different types of exercise regimens. Generally speaking, a three part exercise program is most advantageous to a person striving to integrate working out with proper eating. The three parts of a life enhancing exercise program includes the following components:

  • aerobic exercise
  • strength training
  • stretching

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is understood to be any type of extended physical activity that makes a person breath hard. Aerobic exercise involves the working of the body’s large muscle groups at an even and regular pace. Examples of aerobic exercise include such activities as bike riding, jogging, and certain calisthenics.

The end result of a regular workout routine that includes an aerobic component is weight loss (or proper weight maintenance) and the conditioning of the heart and body, generally. Through aerobic exercise, the body utilizes carbohydrates and some types of fatty acids that result in the shedding of weight or the prevention of unnecessary and unhealthy weight gains.

Strength Training

Strength training is another vital element to a comprehensive exercise program. Strength training involves working individual muscle groups to enhance the vigor and potency of these muscles. Obvious examples of strength training exercises include lifting weights and certain types of calisthenics.

There are a number of ultimate benefits to strength training. These benefits include:

  • increased muscle strength and lean muscle mass
  • increase metabolic rate (that will aid a person in burning unwanted fat)
  • decreased risk of coronary disease


When it comes to the development of a proper exercise program, many people overlook stretching. In point of fact, stretching is extremely important to a complete exercise program.

While stretching itself may not directly impact a person’s weight loss or maintenance program, it is a foundation upon which all other exercises are built. Through the process of stretching in advance of beginning aerobic or strength training routines, a person enjoys a number of vital benefits that include:

  • enhancement of aerobic and strength training regimens
  • reduction of the potential for injury while working out
  • increased relaxation while working out and in day to day living
  • reduction of muscle soreness and tension as a result of working out

Workout Frequency: How Often is Often Enough?

Novices to experts often find themselves wondering how often they need to workout in order for a physical regimen to have an overall beneficial impact on a person’s body and life.

As a general rule, a person interested in developing a moderate exercise routine with the dual goal of healthy living and weight maintenance or loss, should consider working out on a minimum of three occasions each and every week.

Each workout session advisably should include approximately thirty minutes or aerobic exercise and another thirty minutes of strength training work. Each and every session should also include a period of stretching that lasts approximately fifteen minutes in advance of the aerobic and strength training components.

Some people prefer breaking apart the aerobic and strength training elements of their routines. In other words, they might elect to alternate aerobic exercise on one day and then undertake strength training on the next.

A person needs to gradually work into an exercise regimen. By this it is meant that a person should gradually work towards more extended periods of exercise time rather then diving into long sessions at the outset. In the long run, many men and women end up enjoying their exercise programs and find themselves naturally inclined to spend more time at working out. This is particularly true when a person ends up seeing results from a workout and exercise program.

Working Out with a Trainer or Exercise Partner

Many people find that they are more motivated to stick to a workout and exercise program if they work with a trainer or a partner.

A trainer can be beneficial to a novice who has not really ever engaged in an exercise program. A professional trainer can assist a person in developing an all encompassing workout program that will best serve a person’s goals of weight loss or maintenance and general healthy living.

Consult with a Doctor before Beginning Any Exercise Program

Before a person commences any type of exercise program, it is absolutely necessary for that person to consult with his or her doctor. In the final analysis, a person simply does not want to embark on an exercise program that his or her body is incapable of handling.

By visiting a doctor in advance of initiating a workout program, a person can be confident that a recommended program will be beneficial rather than harmful in both the immediate future and long term. Many physicians can also provide competent guidance on what type of diet best compliments a given exercise or workout regimen.