Jackie Wright: 10 fitness guidelines that work for life | SkyHiNews.com

Jackie Wright: 10 fitness guidelines that work for life

Begin your 2008 fitness journey on the right path by following these 10 fitness guidelines that work for life.

1) Before beginning your exercise program ” Consult your physician and a qualified/certified fitness professional.

2) The Five Components of Physical Fitness ” Every exercise program should address all five components of physical fitness. These are as follows:

– Cardiovascular Endurance (i.e. cardio/aerobic exercise) ” the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the outside atmosphere and take it to the working muscles.

– Muscular Strength ” the capacity of a muscle to exert force.

– Muscular Endurance ” the capacity of a muscle to exert force repeatedly.

– Flexibility ” range of motion about a joint.

– Body Composition – lean mass, which is the muscle, bone and blood versus fat mass (i.e. subcutaneous adipose tissue or fat lying underneath the skin).

3) The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend the following minimum guidelines for healthy adults to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. These guidelines address all five components of physical fitness outlined above.

– Frequency ” Three-five days per week for cardio/aerobic exercise, two days per week for strength-training exercise and following every exercise session, perform stretches for all major muscle groups.

– Intensity ” Moderate to vigorous for cardio/aerobic exercise (i.e. five days for moderate intensity; three days for vigorous intensity). Moderate ” you can carry on a conversation; Vigorous ” you can say your name and phone number. Additionally, 8-15 repetitions of 8-10 strength-training exercises and perform your stretches 3-4 times per muscle group.

– Time/Duration ” 20-30 minutes (i.e. the longer the duration, the lower the intensity, the shorter the duration, the higher the intensity) for cardio/aerobic and strength-training exercise and 10 minutes of stretching holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds.

– Significant weight loss or improvements in your fitness level may require you to increase the duration of your cardio/aerobic and muscular strength- training exercise sessions (i.e. 35-90 minutes per session) and perhaps the intensity, depending upon your specific fitness goals and physical limitations.

4) The Specificity of Exercise Principle ” states that in order to improve any specific component of physical fitness, you must perform that specific component regularly.

5) The Reversibility Principle ” states that you cannot store fitness. Consequently, you must perform exercise regularly, or you will eventually lose the training effect achieved (i.e. use it or lose it!).

6) If it hurts, don’t do it ” If any exercise or activity causes pain, then don’t do it.

7) Spot Reduction ” is not attainable. The sites and process for fat loss from the body are genetically pre-determined and achieved through regular cardio/aerobic and strength-training exercise.

8) Spot Training ” is attainable. You can train an underlying muscle or muscle group, such as the abdominal muscles by performing effective abdominal muscle exercises, but this does not burn fat off of the abdomen.

9) Input versus Output ” If you input more calories than you output, you will gain weight. If you output more than you input, you will lose weight. If your output and input are the same, you will maintain your weight.

10) Beware of any product or program that promises unrealistic weight loss or strength gains.

Look for next week’s column addressing specific details on the above fitness guidelines and 10 more health and fitness guidelines to help you kick start a fit and healthy 2008.

” Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address: gllacs@comcast.net

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