Choose a FITTness lifestyle
by Nina Schnipper
Exercise is a personal journey. Different exercise needs and goals create different questions.
People ask questions when they start an exercise program. People ask questions about their existing programs. They ask questions if they do not get their anticipated results. The FITT Principle offers answers.
What is the FITT Principle, and how does it apply to your exercise needs? First, I’ll define it, and then I’ll apply it.
“FITT” means Frequency, Intensity, Type, and Time. Frequency means how often you perform an exercise: twice a day, twice a week, etc. Intensity refers to the physical effort you exert. The Type of exercise is important to note, because all forms of exercise serve different functions. The Time refers to how long you spend exercising during each session. Understanding these factors will help you formulate a great exercise program for your needs.
First, consider how these factors play a role in a new program. If you are not getting regular physical activity, but you wish to start, consider your choices. You may find it more comfortable and convenient to practice greater Frequency, with less Time. In other words, you may exercise for two short times each day. A moderate intensity, coupled with a moderate-Type of exercise is recommended.
Here is a sample routine for the beginning exerciser:
– Frequency: Every day, take one walk in the morning before breakfast and another walk at lunchtime.
– Intensity: Moderate ” walk briskly, without getting out of breath. Let arms swing loosely.
– Type: Walking.
– Time: 15 minutes per walk.
Making changes to your exercise program is similar at any stage. You simply change one of the factors in your FITT Principle. Try not to increase any one factor by more than 10 percent per week until you have been active at a rigorous pace for many months.
Using the example above, you might increase your morning time spent walking to 20 minutes after your second week. By week four, you may also increase your lunchtime walk to 20 minutes. Gradually, add stretching and resistance training into your program.
Applying changes is the same process for anyone, at any stage of their exercise regimen. With busy schedules, it can be difficult to increase the frequency or time factors. However, we can always vary the intensity by exerting more effort. We can easily change the types of exercises. Focus more on strength training one month, or try a new sport!
However you choose to exercise, vary the FITT Principles every month, for greater fitness and health!
For a free copy of “Strength Training for the Middle-Aged Woman,” call 948-0179. Nina Schnipper is a nationally certified fitness trainer and massage therapist, specializing in pain relief and upper-body strength for women.
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