Continuing on with my fitness tips, I want to explain the FITT principles and how they relate to what you should be doing. FITT stands for Frequency (how often), Intensity (how hard), Time (how long), and Type (what are you doing). When you follow the recommendations (and of course, please remember no two people are the same!), you will see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Basically, this outlines how much work you should be doing and how often you should be doing it. I will break it down into three different categories: Cardio, Flexibility, and Strength Training.
When we are talking about Cardio, it seems we are always thinking more is better. It was eye opening to me to see just how much we actually needed each week to reap the benefits.
Frequency: You only need to do cardio 3-5 times a week; 3x in a vigorous workout, 5x moderate workout, or 4 combined.
Intensity: You want to make sure you are working in the right zones. We can measure it with heart rate zones (being between 64-94% of Heart Rate Max) or with another tool like the rate of perceived exertion measurement. On here, you need to be working between 4-8. Stick with 4-6 for moderate workouts, and 7-8 for vigorous workouts.
Time: This will vary according to the intensity. We know that if you are doing a HIIT workout, you won’t be spending as much time as if you were working out at a moderate pace. Try to aim for 20-60 minutes at each session, or several bouts of 10 minute bursts throughout the day.
Type: So what should you do? Well, anything that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated while utilizing large muscle groups works. For instance, you could run, bike, hike, walk, use the elliptical, stair climber, climb stairs in your building, swim, take a group fitness class, Zumba, Les Mills classes, etc.
I love to lift weights, and especially see the progress. However, if you don’t do it enough, or you don’t do it correctly, you won’t reap the benefits of it. Here’s a look at what you need when strength training.
Frequency: Aim for 2-3 workouts on non consecutive days per week focusing on major muscle groups. You want to vary the exercises that you perform over time, but try to lift weights at a minimum of two days per week.
Intensity: When lifting, you want to go until you reach muscle fatigue (not failure! That shows you were unable to keep correct form). Typically, you perform 8-25 reps with 1-4 sets of each.
Time: It may take you as little as 20 minutes, or as long as 60 minutes depending on how many body parts you are working.
Type: Anything that creates an overload to your musculoskeletal system works as strength training. It’s better to do multi joint and multi muscle exercises (think squats with overhead press) as it utilizes and overloads your body in more than one way.
Oh flexibility.. I need to work on you..
Frequency: We should really be working on flexibility 2-3 days a week at the minimum, but this is one area that more is better.
Intensity: You want to perform each flexibility move to the end of your range of motion. Do not force exercises beyond the point of tightness. Perform 1-4 reps of each.
Time: With flexibility moves, it could be as little as 5- 10 minutes, or an entire class, like yoga. When performing static stretches (holding a stretch), do so for 15-60 seconds.
Type: You really just need to do exercises that will stretch your muscles, allow them a chance to recover without becoming stiff, and go through all major muscle groups. You could do simple stretches at home, or head to a Yoga or Pilates class.
I hope you learned something new and can incorporate it into your workout schedule!
A couple weeks, ago, Julie shared a bootcamp workout that I tried out and immediately loved. After performing hers, I decided to give it a go on my own and try to incorporate exercises I wanted to utilize. I really loved this workout and hope you do, too!
For this workout, you will perform each set of exercises in the box for 3 minutes, and rest for 30 seconds in between. Complete as many reps of the exercises as you can in those 3 minutes, but in good form. The time will fly by and you will be exhausted after!
Moves you might know: