06 May 2009

Do you know your exercise prescription?

One thing we all know for sure, is that we should exercise. But just how much is necessary? Did you ever think you would actually have an exercise prescription?? For the folks that are doing their share everyday, and feeling very good, and maintaining stable and great health, they already know their prescription.

For the rest of people who don't exercise regularly or at all, you need to find out. It is especially important if you have a condition and you want to improve your state of health. A simple suggestion, of "just go out and walk," is not enough. There are a lot of people going out and walking, quite casually, and it is doing minimum benefit for their health and state of well-being. Walking is a fantastic activity for cardio, but it has to be done with purpose and effort. Everyone has to start from somewhere and to work up to more challenging efforts in order to reap benefits over time and consistently.

We know that we should get cardio, strength training and flexibility training. Those 3 areas should be incorporated in everyone's exercise program for ideal fitness, but again, in what ways should they be added to your routine?

The human body needs balance and needs specific exercises to enhance it's state of functioning well, and looking well. Yoga and Pilates have jumped to the forefront of the fitness world in the past decade. For quite a while, the emphasis was only on cardio and strength training, and now we know that we actually strengthen our body effectively with Yoga and Pilates. In fact, these two types of exercise enhance our abilities to have better results with our cardio and strength training routines.

Along with the 3 basics areas of exercise, today in 2009, there are so many different forms of exercise and it's wonderful knowing that you can pick and choose what you like and leave the rest.

But, if you are striving for a certain level of fitness, or a significant improvement in your health (depending on what your issues are), then it behooves you to truly investigate what exercise would SIGNIFICANTLY enhance your lifestyle.

There are people who jump and join a gym and 3 or 6 months later, they are not satisfied with the results. There are people who join an exercise group just because their friends are doing it, and again, they decide to quit because they don't feel it is helping them. There are people who hire a personal trainer, only to be put through that trainer's program --- which only brings resentment and pain, and after the 6 or 8 weeks are up (and $1,000 later), they are left still not quite knowing where to go from there, or how to keep it going.

If you have made the first step towards acknowledging that you need a fitness program in your life, that is the most important step.

Now the next important step is to find out "your" specific exercise prescription.

1. What do you need to achieve?
2. What do you need to improve?
3. Do you understand fully the effects of the workout you are doing? Do you know what is truly being improved?
4. What do you have to do continuously?
5. What are the benefits of one type of exercise over another?
6. How much cardio do YOU really need?
7. What is the recommendation for strength training for YOU?
8. Do you know about these other types of exercise and how they can benefit YOU?
9. Have you learned some basics so that if worse comes to worse, you can know what to do so you can keep a program going on your own??
10. How does your diet interact with your exercise program?

These are just a few questions that need to be answered and understood completely.

You should know about your exercise program, just as if it were a medicine being prescribed to you by a doctor. Hopefully, you would never just swallow a pill simply because a doctor said, "here take this and you will be fine."

Take time to know that the time you invest in your fitness well-being is time that is truly spent well!

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