- Frequency: This is the number of days each week you exercise.
- Intensity: This is how hard you exercise. It can be based on your heart rate, the pace you jog, or the amount weight you lift.
- Time: This is how long you perform an activity. For example, it is the number of minutes you run, or the volume of sets and reps performed in strength training.
You can apply these basics of frequency, intensity and time to your components of fitness—aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching—to get the results you are looking for.
Aerobic Exercise is continuous physical activity (preferably involving large muscle groups) for a minimum of twenty minutes at an appropriate percentage of a person’s own calculated maximum heart rate. Examples of aerobic exercise are running, cycling, climbing stairs, rowing, and rope jumping.
When exercising at designated heart rate zones and duration the body will respond with:
- An increased energy output for all activities because of better heart, respiratory, and circulatory function which results in higher cardiovascular efficiency
- High-efficiency fat burning
- An increase in caloric expenditure to offset any caloric intake that often leads to an increase in body fat composition
- Improvement in digestive function
- Stress reduction
- Supporting the body’s hormonal balance, which can help your mood
Strength Training is activity that involves controlled movement of a resistance through space and time, and is performed in a series of sets and repetitions. The purpose of strength training is to challenge the musculoskeletal system for better posture, stronger bones, improved strength, and reduce the risk and/or severity of an injury. Strength training also adds lean muscle to our frame, which is beneficial for increasing the ability to burn more calories at rest, due to the energy requirements to sustain muscle tissue activity. It is actually in the belly of the muscle where the most fat is burned.
Examples of strength training are push-ups, pull-ups, back row, biceps curl, abdominal crunches, and dumbbell shoulder press.
Stretching involves actively positioning the body and its limbs with the intention of lengthening and activating shortened, and therefore less-efficient, muscle. The results of obtaining the optimal length of the muscles supports and or creates improved posture, relieves aches and pain in muscles and joints, relieves stiffness in muscles and joints, reduces risk of injury and reduces stress in muscles.
One or more of these examples should be applied to most of the functional muscles in the body: static holds, active isolated stretches and PNF stretching.
Remember to keep all three of these components of fitness (along with the 3 basics of being fit) in your workout lifestyle to maximize your results and continue transforming your body.