We’ve come up with a convenient, easy-to-follow workout routine for women, and you can do it whether you’re at home or in the gym. Read on to find out the benefits of having a regular workout schedule, and learn how to adopt one successfully.
From boosting your mood to helping you lose weight and sleep better, exercise is a great way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Here are just a few of the many benefits that come from exercising regularly:
- Reduces PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps: Numerous studies support that regular exercise is an effective way to reduce PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps. Regular exercise has been shown to be effective at reducing not only the physical symptoms of PMS, but the mental effects, such as stress and irritability, as well. Running and exercising on your period has also been shown to improve your mood and reduce menstrual pain.
- Makes safe weight loss easier: Exercising is a safe and sustainable way to lose weight and cellulite. By staying active on a regular basis, your metabolic rate stays high, and you burn calories more efficiently. This helps you lose weight and keep it off.
- Protects you from lifestyle diseases: Studies have shown that following a workout plan can drastically reduce the chances of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and more.
- Boosts energy: You may think that exercise makes you feel tired. In fact, working out regularly increases your stamina and endurance! It also boosts your energy levels in the long run, helping you be more productive and motivated.
- Improves your mood and alleviates depression: Regular workouts release endorphins in your body. These are feel-good hormones that can improve mood. Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces the incidence of depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Relieves sleep problems: Studies have shown that even light, regular exercise can improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
If you’re new to exercise and are unsure of how to begin, don’t worry! We’ve drawn up a basic workout schedule for women to help you get started on your fitness journey. Whether you want to exercise at home or in the gym, we’ve got options for you. Read on to find out more:
Gym workout plan for women
Most gym exercises can be grouped under two main categories: cardiovascular exercises (or cardio), and strength training. To gets started, you can follow a basic routine where you alternate between these two exercise groups through the week, with rest days. Before doing any of these exercises, it is a good idea to consult a doctor in case you’ve had any previous injuries. Now, let’s find out what we mean by cardio and strength exercises:
Cardio exercises: Cardiovascular exercises, or cardio for short, are exercises of low to high intensity that raise your heart rate and increase your body’s need for oxygen. Gym equipment like the treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical or cross-trainer can all give effective cardio workout in the gym. You can try these exercises in the gym and see which one you enjoy the most.
Strength training: Strength training makes our muscles work by using a type of resistance, which can either be our own bodyweight or added weights like dumbbells. These exercises increase our endurance and muscle mass, which helps us burn more calories. This is because muscle burns higher calories than other types of tissues in the body. Some strength exercises that use our own body weight are planks, push-ups, squats, and lunges. Strength exercises with weights are deadlifts, bench press, bicep curls, and weighted squats, to name a few.
To get started, you can follow a 25 to 30-minute workout 3 to 5 times a week. Alternating the workouts are important so that your body does not get used to a workout, which may help burn more calories. Here’s a sample weekly workout schedule:
- Monday: full-body strength training
- Tuesday: rest
- Wednesday: cardio
- Thursday: rest
- Friday: full-body strength training
- Saturday: rest
- Sunday: rest
If you feel you can devote more time and energy, you may want to switch to a 5-day workout plan, where you can alternate between cardio and strength training on weekdays, while resting to recover on weekends.
Home workout routines for women
If you’re unable to make it to the gym, we have some basic exercises for you at home that you can do at your own pace. Follow a 25 to 30-minute combination of the following exercises to get a good workout:
- Plank exercise: Planks are a simple, highly effective way to strengthen your core muscles, arms, legs, and back. To do this, start on the floor on your knees and hands. Lower the forearms onto the ground shoulder-width apart, with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Step your feet back, like you’re doing a push-up, and stay parallel to the floor with only your forearms and toes resting on the ground. Use your abs to help hold the position for as long as you can.
- Bodyweight squats: Squats can be performed anywhere, without any equipment, and are a great workout for your entire lower body. To do squats, stand with the head facing forward, and legs shoulder width apart, with feet pointing slightly outwards. Then, sit down and back like you’re sitting in a chair, as your upper back bends forward. Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor as you lower them. Push your weight onto your heels. Then, push your heels to spring your body back up in a standing position. Repeat 15 times, take a minute break and start again. Three sets of 15 is a good starting place. If you have a hard time understanding written directions, there are lots of videos on the internet to show you proper form, which is important to prevent knee injury.
- Jumping jacks: Jumping jacks can elevate your heart rate and help you get a good sweat going, making them an excellent at-home cardio workout. Start by standing straight, feet close together and arms at your sides. Then jump your legs wide apart and bring your arms over your head till your fingers touch. Immediately after, jump back to the original position, with the legs together and arms at your sides. Repeat 15 times, take a minute break and start again. If you’re able, three sets of 15 is a good starting goal.
It’s important to create a plan you enjoy that works for you, so you’ll want to come back to it again and again. One way to do this is to try out the various types of cardio and strength exercises and choose the ones that you enjoy. You can also adjust the number of days you work out from two to five days each week depending on your availability and schedule.
For women, sticking to a workout plan has many benefits. From improving mood and energy levels to reducing PMS symptoms, there are many reasons to adopt a fitness routine. And the good news is it’s possible to follow a workout schedule whether you are in the gym or at home.
Doing a combination of cardio and strength exercises will ensure that your body efficiently burns calories. It is important to stay hydrated and have rest days to recover from the workout. Don’t forget to do a proper cool down routine after every workout to avoid injury. Consulting your doctor about your workout routine before getting started can help you set reasonable goals and choose exercises that are safe for you.