A lifetime fitness plan is an exercise regimen designed to be carried throughout an individual's life, rather than a plan that has a particular goal in mind. For example, many people will set a weight loss goal or other measure of physical fitness, and then once they reach that goal they will stop exercising or cut back. Instead, a lifetime fitness plan focuses more on overall health throughout life, no matter an individual's age or physical ability. It does not mean that a person does the same exercises at the same intensity throughout his or her entire life, as this would simply not be possible.
Striving for a lifetime fitness plan is an excellent goal to have. Regular exercise helps people stay at a healthy weight, reduces the chances for a number of different illnesses from heart disease to cancer and diabetes, and can improve the mood because it releases endorphins in the brain. It can also boost self-esteem and feelings of confidence, as well as reduce the risk of injury throughout an individual's entire life because it improves balance and coordination. There is really no downside to developing a lifetime fitness plan.
Some people think that a lifetime fitness plan has to stay the same throughout life, but this is not the case. In fact, adding variety to an exercise program is a great way to stay in shape because it prevents the muscles from becoming too adapted to certain moves. As a general rule, it is a good idea to have a mixture of aerobic, strength, and flexibility training to target different areas of the body and ensure that all of the body's physical fitness needs are met. This mixture of training types can come from any number of different physical activities, however.
A personal lifetime fitness plan should be tailored to an individual's interests and physical abilities. A personal trainer might be able to help with this, though many people simply develop their own lifetime fitness plans. Young to middle aged people, for example, might find that more vigorous activities such as running or weight lifting are great choices, while people looking for a form of exercise with lesser impact might find yoga or Pilates to be helpful. Older people might find that aqua aerobics is a great way to stay in shape, as well as gentle walking or stretching. Outdoor activities such as hiking or biking can be great for people of all ages too.