Exercise Basics

November 18, 2010

When designing an exercise program, there are three components that need to be addressed: Cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and stretching. No fitness program is complete without all of these vital parts. Cardiovascular Exercise Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and elevates the metabolism for 12-24 hours or more after the session is over. Cardiovascular exercise requires keeping the heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. The best way to do this is through repetitive activities like walking, jogging, cycling or through many of the various exercise machines like the elliptical trainer or a stepper. Use the F.I.T. (Frequency, Intensity, Time) principle to determine what is best for you. You should try to do cardio at least 3-5 times each week.     You should strive to maintain a target heart rate between 70 and 80% of your max heartrate. Use the formula below to determine your range.     Each of your cardiovascular workouts should last for 30 to 60 minutes or more.

Heart Rate (HR) Intensity Formula 220 - Age =     Max HR Max HR x .7 =     Low end of range Max HR x .8 =     High end of range

Resistance Training Muscle is the thermostat that controls your metabolism. The more lean tissue you have, the more calories you burn in a day. The best way to build muscle is through regular resistance training. This can include free weights, machines, elastic tubing or even manual resistance. Try to do two to three sets of 10 -15 repetitions per exercise for the upper body and two to three sets of 15-20 reps for the lower body. For larger muscle groups like the chest, back and legs you should do two to three different exercises per workout. For smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, biceps and triceps you can do one to two exercises per workout. Don't be afraid to increase the weight you are using. Once you can perform all of the reps in a given set with good form, raise the weight. Don't increase the number of repetitions beyond what is listed above. This will increase endurance, but not help in building lean muscle tissue and boosting metabolism. Don't worry(;), you won't build big muscles just by lifting heavier weights. Stretching Most aerobic and strength training programs involve the contraction and flexion of muscles, adding to the importance of stretching as a necessary component of any regimen.  It increases flexibility, improves the range of motion of joints,  improves circulation, and relaxes tense muscles. Make all three of these components a part of your exercise regimen for a well-rounded approach to fitness and optimal results! Looking for an individualized program designed for your needs?  Check out Peter's Principles Life Coaching Program!

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