Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Choosing the right exercise program to meet your goals

A simple way to make sure your exercise program is right for you is to follow the “F.I.T.T.” principle, which stands for frequency, intensity, time and type.

“A lot of people come in here and they do great and put in a bunch of time, effort, and energy into exercising on a regular basis, but unfortunately I hear people say they are not reaching their goals,” said Trent Tangen, assistant director of Fitness and Wellness for Recreational Sports.

Tangen recommends creating a workout program specific to your needs and individual goals. He suggests using the “F.I.T.T.” principal as a road map.

The first component is frequency, or how often you should work out. On average, Tangen suggests exercising 3-6 days per week, depending on your goals. Those of you looking to maintain your health and wellness may be able to work out 3-4 days per week. However, if you are looking to reach specific health or fitness goals you may need to work out 5-6 days per week. Even though you may not be exercising every day, you should be physically active every day. This includes doing things such as, parking in the back of a parking lot, walking to the store or taking stairs rather than the elevator.

Intensity or how hard you work to meet your goal is the second component. A good way to determine if you are working out at the right intensity is to wear a heart rate monitor. The monitor consists of a chest strap and watch, which displays your heart rate while exercising. TRAC has several heart rate monitors available for use with personal trainers. Using the monitor will allow you to be sure you are working out at an effective intensity.

Time is the third component important to determining your workout goals. Tangen suggests working out for 30 to 60 minutes a day.

It is also important to very your workout routine, so your body doesn’t adapt. The fourth component is type, as in the type of exercise you should do. If you do the same exercise over and over again for a long period of time it can lead to a decrease in the amount of calories you are burning.

“You also don’t want to get bored with your exercise, so you want to begin to shake it up,” he said.

Three ways to shake up your exercise routine include adding cardiovascular strength and flexibility into your workout, adding intervals and trying cross training. Tangen says you should do all three in order to see the best benefits.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

February is recognized as American Heart Month

Did you know heart disease is the number one killer in the United States? A person has a coronary event almost every 25 seconds and every minute a person dies from the disease. That’s why the American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness during the month of February.

“A common reaction from people is I’m too young to worry about heart disease, but one thing we want to talk about is prevention is the key,” said Trent Tangen, assistant director of Fitness and Wellness for Recreational Sports. “If we want to lower the statistics, lower the number of heart attacks that occur we have to start with prevention.”

It’s often during college when young adults start to form lifelong habits. The American Heart Association’s “7 Small Steps to BIG Changes” campaign is designed to teach healthy habits.

The association recommends:

1. Getting Active – Come use facilities, such as TRAC to exercise and take advantage of group exercise, the fitness floor and outdoor REC facilities. You can also get exercise at home by doing something as simple as cleaning the house, working in the garden or taking a pet for a walk.

2. Controlling Your Cholesterol – It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce cholesterol. It is also recommended that you reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet, fried food and red meat.

3. Eating Better – One of the most important things you can do is start your day off with a well rounded breakfast. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your diet so be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with high protein snacks in between.

4. Managing Your Blood Pressure – Learn and practice stress management techniques as it is a great way to help accomplish this goal.

5. Losing Weight – Simply losing 10 percent of your total body weight can help reduce your cholesterol scores and your blood pressure.

6. Reducing Your Blood Sugar – Cut back on refined sugars which are commonly found in juices, soda, candy and other “junk” foods.

7. Quitting Smoking – One of the best things you can do to improve your heart health is to quit smoking.

The key to preventing heart problems later in life is to develop healthy habits now, following these seven steps will benefit you tremendously in the future