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Fitness Program

Whether you want to get leaner or get stronger, you have to have a Personal Fitness Program which works for you so you can achieve your goals safely and easily. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or beginner – your program should be right for you.

Weight training can be very beneficial for women, helping keep muscles in shape and bones strong. But you need to know what exercise to do, how to do them, how many sets, how much rest between sets – the list goes on and on.

Taking in the right balance of nutrients is important to any exercise plan. You have to try adding the Personal Fitness Program to your diet program – it should synchronize with your workout plan and should be built to adjust to your needs and goals.

It would be necessary to gain a training effect on your program from the F.I.T.T. principle. F.I.T.T. stands for: Frequency, Intensity, Type and Time. It’ll apply these concepts to the two types of training, Cardoirespiratory Training and Resistance Training, to educate you on what is needed to gain training benefits. Knowing your heart rate is important for three reasons: it assures you are training at the right intensity to gain benefit from the exercise. It also assures you are exercising at a safe intensity and it can tell you the amount of time you exercised in your target heart rate zone.

FrequencyExercise a minimum of 3 times per week. Little additional training benefits occur when the frequency is greater than 5 times per week when compared to the amount of effort involved.

IntensityYou must maintain your heart rate in the Target Heart Rate Zone for the required time to gain benefits. Your Target Heart Rate Zone is determined by your fitness level and your age. Low fitness individuals will attain results training at 50% to 70% of their maximum heart rate as their Target Heart Rate Zone. Higher fitness individuals will train at 70% to 85% of their maximum heart rate as their Target Heart Rate Zone.

TimeIt is necessary to maintain your proper intensity (target heart rate zone) for a duration that will create a training benefit. Low Fitness individuals should maintain their heart rates in their target zone for a minimum of 12 to 15 minutes. This does not include warm-up or cool down periods. As your fitness level increases the exercise time in your target heart rate zone can be extended to 20 – 60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity. Unless you are a competitive athlete, training beyond 60 minutes in your target heart rate zone provides little additional training benefits for the amount of effort exerted. If you are overweight however, long training sessions at a low intensity (50% to 60% of maximum heart rate) utilize fat as an energy source and are helpful in a weight/fat reduction program.

Example for a 38 Year Old PersonTypeChoose an exercise that will involve as much muscle mass as possible. In other words, exercises that use the whole body or the larger muscle groups such as the legs and/or the back. Make sure the exercise is of a dynamic contracting nature that involves movement. The exercise should be rhythmic to allow a consistent intensity. The exercise should be capable of creating the proper training intensity.

Some examples of activities that create a constant heart rate response include:Walking, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Rowing, Hiking, Cross Country SkiingSome examples of activities that produce varying intensity (intermittent training) include:Handball, Racquetball, Volleyball, Tennis, Soccer, Squash, Circuit Weight TrainingRope jumping, weight lifting and running- are great fitness types to be added onto your fitness program.

Rope jumpingJumping rope has long been considered “kid stuff” — but that’s changing. Professional athletes in a variety of sports, particularly tennis and basketball, are jumping rope as part of their fitness workouts — for the same reason boxers have “skipped it” for years. The jump rope, costs less than $15, fits in your briefcase and is easy enough for a child to use.

An unparalleled all-around workout, rope jumping strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, promotes leanness and improves agility, coordination, timing, rhythm and explosive power on both sides of the body.

Bruce lee once said that he thought that 10 minutes of rope jumping was worth 30 minutes of running. Boxers use rope-jumping to train because it helps them stay light on their feet. It’s like dancing.

Jumping Rope for 15 Minutes Burns 200 CaloriesJumping rope has become an integral part of many kinds of fitness classes, including cardio-kickboxing classes and boot camp workouts. Fifteen minutes of jumping rope burns about 200 calories, with some variation depending on how fast you go and how much you weigh. And despite concerns that jumping rope is hard on the joints, it’s easier on the knees and hips than running, since you land on the balls of your feet so the calves and shins absorb and control the impact.

Choosing Your Jump RopeWhile you can get a decent workout with a length of clothesline, a good jump rope won’t cost much. Many experts advise fitness jumpers to use a beaded rope, which typically sells for less than $20. These ropes are made of cloth or nylon and covered by plastic “beads” that give it a satisfying weight and sound as it hits the ground. Competitive speed jumpers often use ropes that are wire-thin, while those doing tricks — such as double-dutch jumping — use thicker cloth ropes. Although jumping rope is child’s play, even active people unaccustomed to repeated jumping may find it difficult at first. But with proper instruction and practice, anyone can jump rope, say experts.

Rope Jumping Tips:•Be sure your rope is the right length. When you step in the center, the handles should just reach your armpits.

•Wear a good pair of aerobic or cross-training shoes.

•Jump to music that has 120 to 135 beats per minute.

•Avoid concrete or hard tiles and jump on wooden floors, rubber tiles or low-nap carpeting.

•Keep shoulders relaxed and elbows in close to your body.

•Don’t jump too high — unless you’re doing tricks. And turn the rope with your wrists, not your arms.

•Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of light activity, then stretch gently before jumping.

•If you’ve been sedentary and you’re a man over 40 or a woman over 50, check with your doctor before beginning any vigorous activity.

•Start by alternating brief periods of jumping with resting moves, such as turning the rope alongside your body without jumping. Over time, do fewer resting moves and more jumping. Your goal is to jump continuously for at least 15 minutes.

Once you’ve mastered the moves, you can perform your jump rope routine whenever and wherever you like. You also can use it for interval training — mixing in jumps with other exercises or strengthening moves, such as sit-ups, lunges, or weight lifting. For example, alternate 90 seconds of jumping with 60 seconds of strength work for a complete workout that will improve your overall fitness.

“It’s better to do three jumps correctly than ten with poor form.”Weight LiftingIf you want to lose fat or change your body, one of the most important things you can do is lift weights. Diet and cardio are equally important, but when it comes to changing how your body looks, weight training wins hands down. If you’ve hesitated to start a strength training program, it may motivate you to know that lifting weights can:•Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

•Strengthen bones, especially important for women•Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance•Help you avoid injuries•Increase your confidence and self-esteem•Improve coordination and balanceIf you’re setting up your own program, you’ll need to know some basic strength training principles. These principles will teach you how to make sure you’re using enough weight, determine your sets and reps and insure you’re always progressing in your workouts.

1.Overload: To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. This is important because the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing, so you should increase your workload to avoid plateaus. In plain language, this means you should be lifting enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. You should be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form.

2.Progression. To avoid plateaus (or adaptation), you need to increase your intensity regularly. You can do this by increasing the amount of weight lifted, changing your sets/reps, changing the exercises and changing the type of resistance. You can make these changes on a weekly or monthly basis.

3.Specificity. This principle means you should train for your goal. That means, if you want to increase your strength, your program should be designed around that goal (e.g., train with heavier weights closer to your 1 RM (1 rep max)). To lose weight, choose a variety of rep ranges to target different muscle fibers.

4.Rest and Recovery. Rest days are just as important as workout days. It is during these rest periods that your muscles grow and change, so make sure you’re not working the same muscle groups 2 days in a row.

A Few Points to Keep in Mind:1.Always warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.

2.Lift and lower your weights slowly. Don’t use momentum to lift the weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you’re using too much weight.

3.Breathe. Don’t hold your breath and make sure you’re using full range of motion throughout the movement.

4.Stand up straight. Pay attention to your posture and engage your abs in every movement you’re doing to keep your balance and protect your spine.

Choosing Exercises, Sequence & Weight•Chest: bench press, chest press machine, pushups, peck deck machine•Back: one-armed row, seated row machine, back extensions, lat pull downs•Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise•Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls•Triceps: triceps extensions, dips, kickbacks•Quadriceps: Squats, lunges, leg extension and leg press machines•Hamstrings: dead lifts, lunges, leg curl machine•Abs: crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tiltsSequence of Exercises•Make sure you choose at least one exercise for each major muscle group.

•The muscles to work include: Chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and abdominals.

•If you leave any muscle group out, this could cause an imbalance in your muscles and possibly lead to injuries.

Most experts recommend starting with your larger muscle groups and then proceeding to the smaller muscle groups.

RunningRunning is an integral part of many sports and is one of the easiest ways to get started on the road to improved fitness. It can take many different forms – fun runs, cross-country, fell running, road races and marathons, for example – but the vast majority of runners simply run to stay fit and because they enjoy it. It can be difficult for new runners (or people who want to become new runners) to know where to start in this day and age of information overload.

Health benefits•Cardiovascular – An estimated 5 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease.

•Nutrition to bones/joints – Weight bearing activities reduce risk of osteoporosis•Psychological – Stress reliever•Reduce risk of heart disease and cancer – According to Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, walking at least 30 minutes, six days a week, can cut heart disease mortality rates in half.

•Lower total cholesterol – Raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure•Stabilize blood sugar•Improve immunityIt is fun and easy!•Low cost/easily accessible•Walking is our body’s natural means of transportation•It can be done individually or with others•It is a great way to exerciseThink of yourself as a runner and make running a habit, just like cleaning your teeth. Think in terms of “when I go for my run” rather than “if I go for a run”. Have a clear aim, such as running in a local fun run or being able to run non-stop for an hour.

Fitness and sport can be fun but it can also be a great way for self-development. Next time you think about getting fit, don’t ask “Who has time?” Instead, ask yourself “Who doesn’t want to feel better? “ Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time.