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Stay In Shape With This Daily Workout Routine

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The tide is turning on the recommended number of weekly workouts we should be doing. For a long time, leading medical institutions have advocated three to four fitness sessions. But now health experts are advising that we participate in some form of exercise every day. Dr Greger, for example, in his bestselling book How Not To Die, prescribes 30 minutes of training seven times a week.


While many will find it frustrating that the goalposts have been pushed back, emerging evidence suggests that exercising every day is better for our health. Studies are showing that sedentarism – long periods of physical activity – can increase your risk of many preventable diseases, (Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest, and Health).


A simple strategy to break the cycle of sedentarism is to use this daily workout routine. It only takes 30 minutes to complete and in that short time, it engages all the major muscle groups and stimulates the heart and lungs.


The routine is also completely customisable. As I explain in the hints and tips section below, the plan can be modified to accommodate your training facility (gym, home, outdoors) and exercise preferences.


Before we review the workout process, I’m going to give you three reasons why you should use this daily workout routine – every day.


Daily workout routine improves CV fitness

The cardio element of the plan helps to promote aerobic fitness. This outcome has wider benefits beyond being able to chase down a bus.


According to 80/20 Running, training cardio triggers a cascade of desirable health and fitness outcomes. For example, studies have shown that CV is the most effective exercise method for facilitating fat loss. In addition, there is a strong link between regular cardio training and a reduced risk of NCDs (noncommunicable diseases).


Also, aerobic activity promotes positive mood states and attenuates mild mental health disorders – such as stress, depression, and anxiety.


Increased functional strength

The other half of this daily workout routine is dedicated to functional strength training. After a bout of CV, which can serve as an extended warm-up, you’ll progress through a series of ‘total body’ exercises.


These exercises – which include deadlifts, hang cleans, and kettlebell swings – engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Thus, you get more bang for your buck with each rep. But also, because of their functionality, the exercises improve a broad array of fitness components.


So, as well as developing functional strength, if you make this workout a permanent part of your routine, you should also begin to notice improved muscle endurance, coordination, balance, and agility.

 

Stay one step ahead of sedentarism

As we briefly discussed above, protracted states of inactivity put our health at risk. According to the WHO, those that lead the life of a couched potato are potentially shortening it – their life, that is. They estimate that some 2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity.

 

Studies outlined by the Heart Research Institute showed that sedentary people are more likely to develop 'type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other conditions such as depression and anxiety.'


Following Dr Greger’s daily prescription of 30 minutes of exercise will help you outpace sedentarism. And don’t think that you’ll have to train like a CrossFit athlete to reap the rewards. A mixed routine conducted at a light to moderate intensity will suffice.


Daily workout routine

You’ll warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before starting the workout. By doing so, you’ll improve training performance while reducing injury risk. If you’re short on time, you can incorporate the warm-up into the first phase of the plan. After a few minutes of mobility exercises, begin the cardio station at a low intensity. It’s also advisable to perform the first few reps of the resistance exercise at a low weight.


The daily workout routine begins with a short bout of aerobic exercise. In addition to stimulating your CV system, this section also ensures that you are thoroughly warmed up. Once you’ve decided on your cardio exercise of choice, there are three training approaches to select from. They include:


  1. 15 mins of steady state: maintain a moderate intensity for the stipulated duration.

  2. 3 x 5 mins: change the cardio exercise after 5 mins (this is for those that find cardio boring).

  3. 15 mins of HIIT (high-intensity interval training): apply one of the following three formulas: Level 1: 20 w / 40 r – Level 2: 30 w / 30 r – Level 3: 40 w / 20 r).


Concluding phase one, you’ll transition to a series of supersets. If you’re unfamiliar with this training terminology, Royal Marine PTI and fitness author explains it as follows. ‘Supersets involve doing two or three exercises one after the other. The exercises are usually for opposing muscles,’ (Royal Marines Fitness). When they’re not opposing muscles, the split is invariably lower body/upper body exercises.


The key benefit of the superset protocol is that it enables you to engage both the anterior and posterior (or lower body and upper body) muscles in the time it would take to target one when applying the conventional resistance training method. Here’s an example.


Conventional method

Biceps curl = 3 sets of 12 reps (process: perform 12 reps then rest for 30-60 seconds – repeat for three sets)

Triceps press = 3 sets of 12 reps (process: perform 12 reps then rest for 30-60 seconds – repeat for three sets)

Total training time = 8 to 10 minutes


Superset

Bicep curl / Triceps press = 6 sets of 12 reps (process: perform 12 reps biceps curl followed immediately by 12 reps triceps press – repeat for six sets)

Total training time = 2 to 4 minutes


Workout key points

  • Warm up before starting the daily workout routine. An effective warm-up activity can be as simple as rowing 2000 metres. To improve neuromuscular facilitation, in preparation for the resistance exercises, you could conclude the row with a set of 50 kettlebell swings. (Need warm-up ideas?)

  • The workout begins with a bout of cardio – which follows nicely from the warm-up. Remember, the two can be integrated. You have three training options to choose from: 1) 15 min steady state; 2) Change the CV exercise every 5 mins; 3) Apply one of the following three HIIT formulas: Level 1: 20 w / 40 r – Level 2: 30 w / 30 r – Level 3: 40 w / 20 r.

  • Now that the cardio is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to turn your attention to the supersets. Each exercise pairing is scheduled for five minutes. Performing 4 to 10 reps, the objective is to complete the pairing without rest. Once the time elapses, move on to the second superset. Of course, depending on your level of training experience and access to equipment, you may need to modify the exercises. I provide ideas on how to do this below.

  • Cool down, stretch the major muscle groups, and hit the showers.


Daily workout routine training plan.

Daily workout routine hints and tips

If you plan to use this daily workout routine at home (on holiday or outside), you’ll no doubt need to chop and change the roster of exercises. I won’t list the possible permutations because they run into the hundreds. What I will say is that when selecting and pairing different exercises, whether they involve equipment or just your body weight, ensure that they engage opposing muscle groups. Pairing exercises that target the same area defeats the object of supersets as it overloads the muscle and hastens fatigue.


Related: Need Exercise Ideas?

Another point to consider is rest breaks. You have probably noticed that recovery periods do not feature in the plan. The rationale behind this bold move is to maximise output. Because the plan is scheduled for 30 minutes (as it’s supposed to be suitable for a daily routine), making it a comparatively short workout, we need to utilise every available minute. However, some exercisers will need to rest. I advise that you try and reserve recovery breaks until the pairing is completed. To do so, reduce the training time from five minutes to four or three and take the remaining one or two minutes as rest.


Related: Get your fitness fix with this 7 Minute Workout >

While we’re on the subject of adjusting the duration of the training tasks, don’t feel obliged to stick to the stipulated workout timings. They are supposed to provide you with a guide. Currently, the two phases – cardio and resistance – are scheduled for 15 minutes each. However, you may, for whatever reason, wish to reduce or increase the length of the two phases. This is relatively straightforward for the cardio station. But for the resistance section, it will require that you implement another superset pairing (or two). When doing so, apply the advice proffered in the first tip.


 

Enjoyed this workout?

Then get your hands on over 80 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Workouts Vol 3 >

Daily workout routine concludes with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits.

 

About Adam Priest –

A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and fitness coach. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam at info@hungry4fitness.co.uk.


 

References

'Physical inactivity a leading cause of disease and disability, warns WHO'


Heart Research Institute

https://www.hriuk.org/health/learn/risk-factors/inactivity-and-a-sedentary-lifestyle

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