The concept of sustainable fitness is gaining momentum. People are realizing the quick schemes do not bring long term results.

Sustainable workouts, like sustainable fitness, means you are working out in a positive, consistent manner that you can permanently sustain. If you are working out four days a week, your sustainable workouts allow you to workout out consistently for years on end.

To create a sustainable workout program, start with the four pillars of exercise: mode, frequency, duration and intensity.

Mode: The type of exercise you are doing – weight training, biking, fitness classes, etc.

Frequency: How often you exercise.

Duration: How long you exercise for.

Intensity: How hard you exercise.

What type of exercise is right for you? There are many different forms of exercise.  Exercise may be for a specific sport like running for soccer or bicycling for cyclists.

A common fitness program includes a good warm up followed by moderate weight training and a cardiovascular exercise like the bike or treadmill.

How often should you exercise? The recommended minimum amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Weight training is recommended a minimum of two times per week. You could make the recommendations exercising four times per week.

How long do you exercise for? If you are going to exercise four times a week based on the recommendations your vigorous aerobic activity would last around 20 minutes. Your weight training could also take 20 minutes. A warmup and cool down period could take 20 minutes. Combined you have a one hour workout.

How intensely should you work out? Moderate intensity exercise, according to the American Heart Association, is a target heart rate of 50% to about 70% of your maximum heart rate. (220 minus your age) High intensity exercise is a target heart rate of 70% to about 85% of your maximum heart rate. For weight training, a simple method to determine intensity is your ability to hold a conversation. If you can speak full sentences while working out that is considered light intensity. If you can speak a sentence or two but cannot hold a conversation that’s moderate intensity. If you can only speak single words that’s high intensity.

Find the right mode, frequency, duration and intensity that is right for you for the long run. Too much is not sustainable. Not enough does not produce results. Work with the four variables to find the right ratios for you. You are getting results, but you are also very consistent with your workouts.