What makes a good workout?

What makes a good workout?

A good workout is one that incorporates strength, cardio and flexibility, core training and balance.

These five elements cover all you need for a solid and effective training programme.


Lifting, using resistance machines or anything that works certain muscle groups counts as strength work. Strength training can help with bone strength and muscular fitness. Try strength training twice a week to see results.

Cardio (aerobic fitness)

Anything that gets you moving enough to raise your heart beat and get you breathing hard counts as cardio. The better you get at cardio workouts, the more efficient your lungs and heart.

Try exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, or just vacuuming the house with a bit of pace!

Around 30 minutes of cardio every day is recommended.

Core training

The core muscles are made up from your abdomen, lower back and pelvis, and help to protect your back. The core also connects upper and lower body movements.

Specific core exercises can help to brace the spine and enable you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively. Anything that requires the use of your trunk without support with help to work the core – think crunches and planking,


As we age our balance starts to deteriorate so it’s good to get some practice in. Exercises like Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates and standing on one leg are all really good training methods.


Stretching greatly helps with flexibility which is important for a wide range of sports such as dancing. Good flexibility helps to relieve stress, and can be improved with classes such as Pilates and yoga.

The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Lucy C.
31 March 2017

Lucy C.

I hadn't thought of the importance of balance - and mine is shocking! time to work on that.

Sean S.
30 March 2017

Sean S.

A good workout for me is one where I have enjoyed it, have been very breathless and have that feel-good feeling after.

Claire H.
29 March 2017

Claire H.

For flexibility I would recommend learning the yoga sun salutation. I have done this almost every morning for the last 10 years or so and it bends you back and forth in all sorts of ways. if I do miss a day or two I definitely feel stiffer. Regular stuff makes such a difference.

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