When you first begin to engage in any form of exercise training, you might simply go into it to lose weight or lower your cholesterol levels. Chances are, you simply did any workout that suited your fancy. While doing any form of physical activity is helpful, following a fitness plan will often make your workout more fruitful. It will also give direction to your workout so you can accomplish your goals.

For starters, having a plan will allow you to think about what you want to achieve with your workout sessions so you can tailor these to achieve your purpose. Do you want to attain greater flexibility and strength? Then Yoga would best suit you rather than weight training. Do you want to lose weight and tone muscles? Then aerobic workouts with strength training sessions will help you get there. The more specific you are about your goals, the better you will be able to tailor your workout to achieve those goals.

However, this does not mean focusing only on one particular component of fitness. While it's important to engage in cardiovascular training to lose weight, you should not also neglect resistance training, flexibility and balance training and core strengthening exercises in your quest to shed off those excess body fats. This is because the concept of total fitness is something that you should still strive for even if you need to concentrate more on one particular area to help achieve your fitness goals. The benefits you derive from each of the components-- better flexibility, improved core strength, better bone and muscle health and enhanced balance-- will still work towards improving your overall weight loss efforts.

Another important aspect to consider when crafting your fitness plan is your schedule and the intensity level with which you will do your workout. Determine how many days of the week you need to do your exercises and how long each session will take. Finalize how challenging each session is going to be.

When you are still beginning your workout, you will surely be exercising at a light intensity level. As you progress, you will need to adjust your fitness plan so you can make your workouts more intense and your exercise periods longer. You need to constantly give your body the needed challenge so that it will respond by working out your muscles more. For example, a month ago, you only needed to jog for 10 minutes before feeling like your lungs were going to burst. Now, you've gone for 20 minutes and you feel like you have just started. Thus, if you notice that a regimen has become too easy for you, make it more difficult so you can continue to derive fitness gains from your activity. Otherwise, if you stay at that level, you will lose the benefits you have previously gained.

Make your exercise program regular and consistent so you remain fit and healthy. While your fitness plan should be tailored for your own specific needs, you can use these guidelines to start: For cardiovascular exercises, strive for 30 to 60 minutes for at least three times a week (more is better). Do resistance training workouts for no more than an hour per session for a maximum of only three times a week on alternate days so your muscles can recover. Try to incorporate flexibility and balance training after your cardio routines three times a week. Core strengthening exercises may be done for about ten minutes a day on most days of the week.

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Author's Bio: 

Fitness enthusiast and health nut who enjoys traveling the world and helping others achieve their weight loss goals.