Apr 20, 2009

Six Components to an Effective Exercise Program

* Notes
The wide-ranging health benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity
  • Helping keep joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible
  • Helping increase metabolism, energy, and endurance
  • Reducing some of the effects of aging
  • Contributing to mental well-being (including alleviating depression, stress, and anxiety) and ensuring better sleep
  • A properly designed and executed exercise program can improve or protect posture, help keep bones and muscles stronger, and maintain joints, tendons, and ligaments injury-free.
  • Exercise can help improve your skin and enable your internal organs to function better.
  • Exercise helps you lose body fat by:
  • Burning calories when you are exercising and increasing your metabolism for many hours afterward
  • Increasing your lean body mass, which:
    • Equals a higher sustained metabolic rate
    • Leads to a firmer, more sculptured physique
  • Exercise makes you healthier, feel better, look younger and more alive—it’s sexy!
* Exercise Rules
Exercise is FACTOR #5 of MY DIVA DIET'S "Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health"
  • There is only one main exercise rule when your goal is to lose fat and gain health: exercise is mandatory. So find something active you enjoy doing and make it part of your life right now.
  • Exercise is crucial for fat loss and good health. It is also essential for maintaining low body fat and a fit physique. However, the frequency, duration, and intensity of your exercise will vary depending on your goals and other circumstances.
  • Don’t be extreme with your exercise program.
* A Quick Guide to Exercise
  • The best thing to do when you’ve been cleared by your doctor and are ready to begin an exercise program is to hire a Certified Fitness Professional. That way you will not waste time, money, or risk injury.
  • An exercise program should consist of the six components shown in the following chart. Each workout should fit your age, current fitness level, and any medical or physical limitations you may have. Your goals, lifestyle, exercise interests, and commitment level should also be taken into consideration when your exercise program is designed.

Six Components to an Effective Exercise Program
Purpose–Types of Activity–Frequency–Duration–Intensity

#1 Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Purpose: Supports your heart and lungs, has many other health benefits; has a major impact on fat loss
  • Types of activity:
  1. Biking, running, fast walking, stair climbing, rowing, etc. (outside or indoor)
  2. Consider: A spin class or a group aerobics class
  • Frequency: 3 to 5 times per week
  • Duration: Approximately 30 to 45 minutes
  • Intensity: 75 to 85% of your maximum heart rate

#2 Strength and endurance training
  • Purpose: Helps build muscle, strength and endurance, and bone density; has many other health benefits; increases lean body mass, which supports fat loss and makes you look firmer.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Weight training with free weights and some machines
  2. Circuit training
  3. Consider: Pilates, which covers some strength, core, and flexibility training
  • Frequency: 3 to 5 times per week
  • Duration: Approximately 30 to 45 minutes
  • Intensity: Depends on the number of sets and repetitions, weight load, and the rest period between sets

#3 Flexibility training
  • Purpose: Enhances your joints’ ability to move through a full range of motion. Keeping your muscles flexible will help improve physical performance and posture and reduce the risk of injury, low back pain, and muscle soreness; increase the flow of blood and nutrients to tissues; and help improve muscle coordination. It not only will make you feel better but function better.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Stretching exercises (either alone or within a class setting)
  2. Consider: A yoga class
  • Frequency: 3 to 5 times per week (perhaps after an exercise program)
  • Duration: Approximately 10 to 20 minutes (or more, if you have the time)
  • Intensity: To the point of tightness, not pain

#4 Core and balance training
  • Purpose: Supports the balanced development of the deep superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Core conditioning can be done with weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, or a Swiss ball (a large rubber ball used for exercise and physical therapy)
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: Core training can be incorporated into your exercise program (either with your weight training or in a class setting)

#5 Corrective exercises
  • Purpose: Help improve posture and target ideal posture, defined as “that state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity.” It is during ideal posture that the muscles function most efficiently.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Exercises that help offset any muscle imbalances you may have developed through work injuries, sports, a poorly designed exercise program, or simple neglect. Corrective exercises help put your body back into its proper postural alignment so you not only function better but look and feel better. You can use weight training and flexibility techniques as well as a Swiss ball, foam rollers, and other modalities.
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: You can incorporate corrective exercises within your regular exercise routine, as long as they are tailored to your particular postural issues.
#6 Functional training
  • Purpose: Improves functional movements that the body is engineered to do in everyday life—walking, running, climbing, lifting, bending, etc.— through a complex series of motions by several of the body’s systems, including the nervous system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system.
  • These movements are important because they give us the ability to perform a variety of tasks—at work, at home, for recreation—now and in the future.
  • Types of activity:
  1. Functional training should be a part of your exercise program so that your body can do all the things it was meant to do—even at age 80!
  • Frequency, duration, and intensity: You can fit your functional training into your weight training sessions.

ACE Certified Fitness Trainer,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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