Adult Workouts: Intermediate

Linda Melone, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

Are you a weekend warrior? If you exercise occasionally, you may not be working out consistently enough to reap the benefits of a regular program. Adults need 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week for health benefits, although more than 30 minutes increases health benefits, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Regular exercise can prevent and cure numerous chronic conditions, including type II diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

For most people, 30 minutes of brisk walking meets the recommendations, and if you’re seeking weight loss, just an hour of brisk walking at a slight incline burns almost 400 calories. When exercising for weight loss, you'll need to burn approximately 2,000 calories a week. Losing unwanted body fat works towards preventing chronic diseases such as type II diabetes and heart disease. To burn 2,000 calories, you'll need to exercise five days a week at 400 calories per session. To avoid injury, however, be sure to give yourself time to work up to this level and/or consult with a certified health and fitness professional for the best approach for you.

Depending on your goals, a general guide for each workout should include:

  • A thorough warm-up: 5 to 10 minutes of walking or gentle total body exercise
  • Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise: 3 to 5 days a week or more
  • Resistance/weight training: 3 to 4 days a week on alternate days
  • Flexibility training (stretching, yoga): after each session—may be part of the cool down
  • Cool down: 5 minutes after each session, gentle walking, stretching

Tips to Get Going

  • Reevaluate your current exercise program and look for ways you can incorporate additional time: early morning, evenings or lunch hours?
  • If lunch hours are not possible, consider walking meetings with clients or coworkers to exercise while working
  • Join a biking, walking or running club and find an exercise partner to hold you accountable
  • Get the entire family involved in after-work activities, so you all get in shape
  • Buy basic home gym equipment (cardio equipment, resistance tubing or a fitness ball) to save time
  • Strive for a minimum of 30 minutes a day for most days of the week

Activities to Try

Below are some daily activities you can mix and match and and create your own versions to keep it fun. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, easily achieved in 30 minutes per day, five days per week.

Week 1

Monday - Take an hour long class at the gym
Tuesday - Walk or ride bike on own
Wednesday - Participate in body sculpt of weight training class
Thursday - Walk with a friend or family member
Friday - 30+ minutes of cardiovascular Activity

Week 2

Monday - Cardio at the gym or walk outside
Tuesday - Yoga or flexibility class
Wednesday - Resistance training class or home workout
Thursday - Exercise DVD workout
Friday - Cardio class or outdoor walking: 30-60 minutes

Once you've exhausted your own ideas, speak with a certified fitness professional to help you take the next step.

Done with the intermediate workout? Move on to Advanced.

This content was provided by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the world's largest sports medicine and exercise science organization and proud content provider for NBA FIT