Exercise 101: Learning the basics of being F.I.T.

In General by Adam Friedman

FITIn order to make the improvements you want to see in your body, performance, and energy, it takes challenging yourself to work harder than you’ve been accustomed to.  Keeping in mind that your body, as it is now, is a direct result of how you have been treating it. The idea is to take a look at what you have been doing and slowly integrate the following principles in discovering what is the next step in your fitness lifestyle.

  • Frequency: This is the number of days each week you exercise.
  • Intensity: This is how hard you exercise. It can be based on your heart rate, the pace you jog, or the amount weight you lift.
  • Time: This is how long you perform an activity. For example, it is the number of minutes you run, or the volume of sets and reps performed in strength training.

What are the components of fitness and some example of each?

1. Aerobic Exercise is continuous physical activity (preferably involving large muscle groups) for a minimum of twenty minutes at an appropriate percentage of a person’s own calculated maximum heart rate.

The health and fitness benefits are:

Exercising at designated heart rate zones and durations the body will respond with:

  • An increased energy output for all activities because of better heart, respiratory, and circulatory function which results in higher cardiovascular efficiency.
  • High efficiency fat burning.
  • An increase in caloric expenditure to offset any caloric intake that often leads to an increase in body fat composition.
  • Improvement in digestive function.
  • Stress Reduction
  • Supporting the body’s hormonal balance, which can help your mood.

Examples of aerobic exercise are: Running, cycling, climbing stairs, rowing, rope jumping.

2. Strength Training: it is activity that involves controlled movement of a resistance through space and time, and performed in a series of sets and repetitions. The purpose is to challenge the musculoskeletal system for better posture, stronger bones, improved strength, and reduce the risk and/or severity of an injury. Strength training also adds lean muscle to our frame, which is beneficial for increasing the ability to burn more calories at rest, due to the energy requirements to sustain muscle tissue activity. It is actually in the belly of the muscle where the most fat is burned.

Examples of Strength Training are: Push-ups, Pull-ups, back row, biceps curl, abdominal crunches, dumbbell shoulder press.

3. Stretching: it involves actively positioning the body and it’s limbs with the intention of lengthening and activating shortened, and therefore less efficient, muscle. The results of obtaining the optimal length of the muscles supports and or creates improved posture, aches and pain relief in muscles and joints, stiffness in muscles and joints, reduces risk of injury, and reduces stress in muscles.

One or more of these examples should be applied to most of the functional muscles in the body: static holds, active isolated stretches, and PNF stretching.