What Is a Good Workout Routine for Beginners?

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A good workout routine for beginners is 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four to five days per week, and 20 to 30 minutes of strength training at least two days per week. The person should also perform slow, static stretches three to seven days per week.

Cardiovascular exercise includes running or swimming. The person should perform it at a moderate intensity. One method of gauging intensity is the talk test. If he can speak normally, the intensity is moderate. If he can't, the intensity is too high, but if he can yell or sing, the intensity is too low.

Strength training should include exercises that target the major muscle groups. Examples include the squat, deadlift and bench press, all of which can be performed with a barbell. The person should try to perform eight to 12 repetitions, and add more weight once he can perform more than 12 repetitions. He should take enough rest time between sets to fully recover.

The person should stretch all the major muscle groups and hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.

The person should consult a doctor before starting a workout program. The most effective program varies depending on his goals, but a mix of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching is an effective program for overall fitness.