Are you getting the most from your training?
There are four basic principles in getting the most benefit from your training. They are exercise Frequency, Intensity, Type and Time (F.I.T.T). The following F.I.T.T guidelines will help you establish a training program.
Frequency refers to how often you exercise. And how often you exercise varies from person to person and depends on your current level of fitness and your goal.
For example you may be trying to achieve 10,000 steps a day or trying to improve your speed/distance or trying to lose weight.
In your exercise program it is important that you have a balance between enough stress and enough rest time.
Fitness adaption occurs during rest therefore if you over stress your body without sufficient rest time you will not get fitter.
The guidelines for cardiopulmonary training (aerobic conditioning), is at a minimum of three times per week and ideally 5 times per week depending on your goal.
Greater frequency may provide additional benefits. But it is also important when starting any exercise program for the first time to start out slowly and gradually increase to prevent injury.
Intensity refers to the amount of effort that is put into your training. It is basically how hard you are working out and is probably the most important factor in improving your performance and general health and fitness.
Heart rate is used to determine the intensity of cardiopulmonary training and this is where your heart rate monitor becomes an important tool.
Before you start an aerobic training program you should know your target or training heart rate range.
Your target heart rate range is determined by your fitness level and your age.
Exercise should start at the low end of the range and progress to the upper end of the range as you become better conditioned.
No you don’t have to jog! An exercise program should include one or more types of exercise.
They can be:
- boxing, or
- aerobic dance.
The most important thing is to find an exercise that you enjoy and want to continue.
Exercising with a partner or group may provide greater commitment and be more fun due to the social interaction.
The time you spend on exercising is dependent on the intensity of the exercise.
It has been reported that the greatest return for time invested is 20 to 30 minutes exercise within your training heart rate range.
As your fitness levels increase the duration can increase to as much as 45 to 60 minutes.
However if you are training for an endurance event, such as a marathon, then it is essential to undertake training sessions of two to three hours up to once a week.
You should consult your doctor before undertaking an increase in exercise if you have any health concerns or have been inactive for a while.