Saturday, January 26, 2008

The 3 Golden principles to get FIT!!!!!!
Excellent results in the first one month of beginning an exercise routine, and diminishing results thereafter…….. Sounds familiar ?
Or exercise freak since years, but with little or no results? So what could be missing ?

You just have 3 simple principles to remember – Overload, Adaptation, Progression !!

It states that to improve any aspect of physical fitness, the intensity of an exercise must be high enough “above the normal” routine for physiological adaptation to occur.
In other words, any exercise should stress your body a little above the usual comfort level. A brisk walk should be just that (and make you feel slightly breathless), not a stroll in the garden!!!!
It is only then, that the body responds positively to overcome the stress, by making it stronger and fitter.
For example, to increase muscle endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are used to. If this stress is removed or decreased there will be a decrease in that particular component of fitness.

The human body is amazing. The body adapts to any stimulus within 6-10 weeks! So whatever stress you put on your body according to the overload principle is overcome within this time!!!!
Once the body has adapted, you are said to have reached a “Plateau”, whereby the results obtained from your exercise are constant.
Then a different stimulus is required to continue the change and give results.
A classic example is when you begin a walking programme. Initially, weight loss is noticeable, but becomes stagnant after a month or two, despite you being regular and disciplined.
By performing any activity repetitively, the body adapts to the stress and it becomes easier to perform. This explains why exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but not so after doing the same exercise for weeks.

This is when the 3rd and most important principle –Progression comes into picture.
Simply put, it means gradually increasing the stress / overload in a calculated, and disciplined manner .

This is the key to get stronger, fitter and healthier and keep getting results out of your workout !!!!So how does one go about it?
Any activity is defined by 3 main parameters – Frequency, Intensity & Time (FIT).

Frequency is the number of times you do the specific activity in a given time period, say a week.
If you are just starting out on a walk, then even 3 days/week will show good results. However, as you get used to this, this number can increase up to 5-6 days/ week.

Intensity can be defined as the amount of work done, or how intense you felt your workout was. There are different ranges and methods to measure this- for example it can be expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate (MHR), where MHR = 220 – your actual Age.

Time, as the word suggests is the duration of your workout.
This can range from 20 min to 1 hour. More than an hour of exercise at a stretch is not really advisable.
Infact, recent research shows that a person must get at least 30 min of physical activity daily for general fitness.

Half knowledge is dangerous!!!!!!!! Although FIT is the name of the game, but only one variable or parameter must be changed at a time.
Also gradual and not drastic changes is the advice. Spice up your routine but when in doubt, consult a knowledgeable exercise specialist!!!!!!!!!
Remember the basics, and get fitter!!!!

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