Pacific Crest_prepLast week we talked about the importance of moving your body and how to make that commitment.  Once you figure out the WHY, the WHAT is the easy part. So today, here are some specifics to make sure you include in your weekly workout routine.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Will improve your heart, lungs, circulatory system, muscles, bones – ok, let’s just say, it will improve your total body’s physiology. Ideally, you need to perform sustained cardio for a minimum of 20 minutes using aerobic activities like walking, running, biking, swimming, dancing or hiking to improve your endurance. You also need to perform high intensity interval training to improve your speed.  Typically, each week you should include 1-2 cardio workouts that are long and slow to develop your aerobic system and 1-2 cardio workouts that are hard and fast but short to challenge your anaerobic and higher intensity system. So each week, schedule easy, moderate and hard workouts that are long, medium and short in duration to challenge all energy systems.

Cardio is like a shower for your cells. We take a shower every day to remove the dirt and residue from our external bodies well, let’s not forget our internal bodies and wash away all those toxins inside of our bodies by getting a good sweat. 

Muscle Conditioning Exercise

You need to challenge your muscles with load by lifting weights, moving your body against gravity or using other resistance training tools.

Many physiologists agree that muscle conditioning is the true fountain of youth and a key component to sculpting your body.

Just like cardio and the importance of including long and slow and fast and hard workouts, you should also lift heavy weights sometimes with less reps to develop strength but also lift lighter resistance with more reps to improve your muscle endurance. Staple exercises to include in your program are Squats, Lunges, Step-ups, Pulls/Rows, Presses/Pushups, and Core conditioning. Some activities like climbing will naturally provide a good amount of muscle conditioning against load.


As we age, we lose elasticity in our tissues so if you are tight to begin with you are going to become even more rigid as you get older which will negatively affect your quality of movement, your postural alignment and risk for injury.  Effective flexibility is possessing a potent combination of adequate pain-free motion at a joint and stability and integrity at that same joint. You can definitely be too tight affecting your movement quality and likewise, you can be too flexible or hypermobile if you have no strength to support movement at your joints. So incorporating muscle release, range of motion and stretches to typically tight areas like your hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, glutes, chest, shoulders and upper back is critical.  Attending a Yoga, Pilates or Foam Rolling class one to two times per week can be very helpful.

Daily Movement

If we moved our bodies more throughout the day, we wouldn’t have to spend hours at the gym. So, incorporate more stairs, park at the furthest parking spots, walk to do errands, stand more than sit, schedule active quality time with your loved ones…just make a more conscious effort to move your body as much as you can. 

An important point to leave you with is to workout NOT so that you can love your body but workout BECAUSE you love your body! 

Can you see the difference?!

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 20 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs.  She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson.  She can be reached at or Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details. 

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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