The definition of the best workout
“Ultimately the best workout for any age needs to be one that fits your time constraints and that you enjoy,” says Kyra Williams, certified personal trainer and coach. “If it doesn’t work for your schedule, it’s hard to get to, and if you tend to be all or nothing, you will end up with nothing.” The key is to find something that you can stick to long term. You don’t have to join a gym or health club. Finding something that boosts your energy and your mood will fit that bill.
The 20s workout
Be sure to incorporate cardio, weight training, balance work and stretching, says Rachel Straub, MS, CSCS, co-author of Weight Training Without Injury. She suggests sneaking in cardio at least three to five days a week, whether you prefer running, swimming, cycling or walking. “Finding a form of cardio exercise that you enjoy – and can do properly and consistently, preferably for life – is most important,” she says. She also recommends weight-training at least two days a week, challenging all major muscle groups: back, chest, arms, core, shoulders and legs.
20s focus: Consider cross-training
Your body is most likely in its peak physical condition and is ready to tackle any challenge you throw its way. Your muscles will recover quickly – more so than they will in future decades – which is why one of the best workouts is cross-training. “This is when you combine both anaerobic (strength/resistance training) with aerobic (cardio) elements,” explains James Shapiro, a certified personal trainer. “Think of this being more of your foundation for the rest of your lift – you’ll learn how to perform movements with proper technique.”