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.



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