What is an optimal exercise plan?

Although the optimal exercise plan differs from person to person, and good general plan consists of combining a well balanced diet with 5 days of moderate to intense cardiorespiratory exercise and 2-3 days of resistance training. When you start your program, make sure you have some baseline measurements such as your weight, body-fat  percentage, and circumference measurements. This will give you something objective to re-measure when you check your progress.

The optimal exercise plan is a fitness program that is based on one's individual goals, and physical limitations. The optimal fitness plan will challenge one in specific heart rate zones to maximize workouts, and caloric burn. The optimal fitness plan will be as individualized as possible and tailored specifically to that person.

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
It's important to understand the difference between an exercise prescription and an exercise plan.

Depending upon the goal of the individual, the exercise plan should cycle the participant through various phases of fitness in order to minimize the likelihood of injury as well as  giving the body a new stimulus throughout the plan. 

As an example, athletes cycle their workouts throughout the year according to whether they are pre-season, in-season, post-season or off-season.  The exercise prescription and plan is based upon where they are in the season.  It keeps them in form throughout  the season and hopefully, injury free.

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

An optimal exercise program should consist of:

  • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week with 20 minutes of additional higher-intensity aerobic exercise three days of the week
  • 15 minutes of resistance exercises two to three times a week
  • Flexibility exercises daily for 5 minutes or longer if needed

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Exercise provides many health benefits - from fitness to increased physical and mental energy. In order to prepare yourself for a exercise routine, you need to research which exercise is right for you and how to fit a new exercise ...

e program into your daily schedule.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.