Monday, December 8, 2008

Greetings to all of you! “Tis the season of joy, frenzy and chaos as we all try to get everything done in a short period of time. It’s especially hard when we want to “be there” for everyone important in our lives and at the same time try to keep sane as we attempt to do it all. Let’s just agree on one thing, don’t let your fitness and health suffer the consequences of the season. You’ll obviously have to make changes but being adaptable and creative to situations is one of the true marks of a fit person. Speaking of fit I want to make sure you are aware of the FITT principle. It’s an easy acronym to remember and by thinking in these terms and how they relate to each other it will allow you a bit more flexibility in how you approach fitness each day of your life:
Frequency = How Often?
Intensity = How Hard?
Time (duration) = How Long?
Type = What Activity?

We all have those days where we are too busy, too tired or too stressed and the last thing we want to do is workout. Often it is exactly what we need to do in order to reduce the stress and fatigue and the cycle between the two. FITT are all factors in an exercise program that are interrelated and can be effectively manipulated by you. Intensity becomes an important element in your program especially when the frequency and/or duration are challenged with a busy schedule. In other words, getting the most bang for your buck with the time you have. This is not to say that the weekend warrior mentality is the smart choice. If your body isn’t physically ready for an intense workout it may cause soreness or injury to the point that you are out for a while. But for those of you that work your way up and progressively get stronger intensity training can be the boost you need. Look at the last one, type. Step out of the box and see fitness as activity. It doesn’t have to be in the gym (although we love seeing you). In fact your gym workouts should have the ultimate goal of getting you fit for life outside. For example find ways to broaden your sports skills, do that needed outdoor yard work, walk the sad dog…who is just waiting… vacuum the house again! The list is endless with potential for burning calories and challenging your muscles, including your heart. In terms of frequency we are often asked can I workout everyday? Take a look at these components below:

Five Components of Physical Fitness:
1. Cardiovascular, or Cardiorespiratory endurance = the ability of the body to sustain prolonged exercise
2. Muscular Strength = the maximal force a muscle or muscle group can exert during contraction
3. Muscular Endurance = the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force against a resistance over a sustained period of time
4. Flexibility = the range of motion, ROM, possible about a joint
5. Body Composition = lean body mass and body fat ratio

Look at your training schedule as a jigsaw puzzle of getting all of those first four into your week. By mixing it up you are not only challenging the body in different ways you are creating a stronger, more efficient, more elastic frame to work with. You are allowing parts of the body to rest/recover by focusing on different components at different times. Daily workouts can then have positive effects. You will never get bored because there is always something to do, to learn, to master. Since this is the holidays include your family and friends in some of this fun…nothing better than all feeling good together.

So the bottom line is Energy In >> Energy Out. Your body will reflect the balance or imbalance of the two. All the fantastic treats of the season should be enjoyed and then burned so get out there and DO SOMETHING…anything active. If you need some inspiration come see us since we have innovative trainers and instructors just waiting to help you get motivated and stay on track. Let’s keep the gym hopping in December so that we all have a head start in making 2009 the best year ever!
Cheers, Kari

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