Monday, May 2, 2016

Exercise Prescription

A detailed exercise program designed specifically for you can improve your fitness quickly while keeping you safe and injury-free.  Exercise prescription commonly refers to the specific plan of fitness-related activities that are designed for a specified purpose, which is often developed by a fitness/rehabilitation specialist for the client or a patient. Due to the specific and unique needs of the individual, the goal of exercise prescription should be successful integration of exercise principles and behavioral techniques that motivates the participant to be compliant, thus achieving their fitness goals.

Components of exercise prescription
An exercise prescription generally includes the following specific recommendations:
  • Type of exercise or activity (e.g., walking, swimming, cycling)
  • Intensity and Specific workloads (e.g., watts, walking speed)
  • Time or duration of the activity or exercise session
  • Frequency
  • Consistency
  • Precautions ( If a client is a special population case)
  • Recommendations
Type or mode of activity refers simply to the type of activity being performed. The most common types of activity can be grouped into cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance and flexibility. All are important aspects of health and fitness.

Intensity refers to the level of your exercise, or how hard you are working. This will be different for everybody. You should notice that, with consistency of your activity, the intensity will begin to feel less when performing the activity, due to adaptation.

Time or duration refers to how long or how many minutes your exercise session will consist of. Once again, this will be different depending on the individual and the type of activity being performed. With consistency, this aspect can be manipulated to foster adaptation and improvement in your program.

Frequency will describe how often you are performing your chosen exercise. It is always better to begin slowly and progress to more days per week. The type of activity will also dictate how often it is performed and whether it can be performed on consecutive days or if a rest day is needed.

There are many activities that can be performed to improve health, fitness or athletic ability, but none of them will work without consistency. By choosing activities that you enjoy, you are more likely to continue with your designed exercise program.

Precautions for exercise are the modifications in the prescription or the additional concerns that must be addressed for each disease process, co-morbidity, or disability to make exercise safe. For example, individuals with diabetes who exercise will be given several precautions for the timing of meals, insulin injections, and glucose monitoring that will not be given to apparently healthy individuals without diabetes who exercise. Precautions given to individuals with angina will not be the same as those given to individuals with low back pain. Each chronic disease and disability will have a specific set of precautions.

Recommendations are additional life-style changes appropriate to the client or patient. For the most part, these recommendations include
  • Diet
  • Target Weights
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stress Management
Having a well-planned exercise prescription is important for your fitness success. Without a specific plan, you are less likely to stick to exercise. By designing a program, you will be better prepared and will be able to monitor improvement throughout.
It is very important to get the exercise prescription right: if it is too demanding it will result in overtraining and the risk of overuse injuries; if it is too easy, the exerciser will not acquire the full benefits of training. People often adopt an exercise prescription designed for someone else (usually a famous athlete) this is usually a mistake unless the prescription is modified to fit the abilities and needs of the person adopting it.

Dr.Meenakshi Sharma,
Fitness Manager,
YFC - Fitness team

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