Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

Creating a Complete Fitness Program

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Find out the four necessary components of a complete fitness program.
Air Date: 4/18/17
Duration: 12:03
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Barbara Bushman, PhD
Dr. Barbara BushmanBarbara Bushman, Ph.D., FACSM, is a professor at Missouri State University. She holds four ACSM certifications: Program Director, Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Exercise Physiologist, and Personal Trainer. Dr. Bushman has authored papers related to menopause, factors influencing exercise participation, and deep water run training. She authored ACSM's Action Plan for Menopause (Human Kinetics, 2005), edited ACSM's Complete Guide to Fitness & Health, 2nd edition (Human Kinetics, 2017),writes the "Wouldn't You Like to Know" article for ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, and promotes health and fitness at
It’s important to balance out your fitness program to make the most of your physical health.It’s too easy to stick with one aspect, especially if it’s all the rage.

Before starting a fitness program you should speak with your doctor. If you haven’t been active or are looking to increase your intensity, get a health screening.

A complete exercise program has four components.

Cardiorespiratory activities or aerobic exercises get the heart and lungs going. This category includes walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and tennis. Pursue these activities three to five days per week.

Resistance training is important to building muscle. Choose activities that stress the muscles, like lifting weights, bodyweight exercises and using resistance bands. Work targeted muscle groups two to three days per week. Allow 48 hours between working targeted muscle groups for recovery.

Flexibility exercises are key for stretching the body. Do static stretches that are held for a period of time. You can also do dynamic stretches that flow through different positions. Balance exercises qualify. These should be done two to three days per week as part of a fitness program, or daily for faster improvement.

Neuromotor training helps your brain to move your body smoothly. This is important for your brain connection to your muscles. Tai chi, pilates and yoga done two to three days per week will satisfy this aspect.

You need all four components for stability. Pursue these activities at the gym or in your own home with minimal expense. Start at the intensity level that’s right for you. Set goals to become stronger and find balance between all four components.

Listen as Dr. Barbara Bushman joins Melanie Cole, MS to guide you on a well-rounded approach to fitness.

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