Cathy's Fitness Column: Balance your Fitness Program

25 Feb 2007

Did you know that physical inactivity is as dangerous to our health as smoking?  It is one of the risk factors for many lifestyle diseases. Consider adding more physical activity to your schedule today. Getting started is easier than you think!

There are many components to fitness. Try to incorporate each aspect into your daily routine. Look at the chart below to see how often, how hard, and how long you should participate in each component of fitness. Then, find an activity that you enjoy and get moving!

The Guidelines for Exercise (American College of Sports and Exercise Sciences-2005)

F I T T 
Frequency Intensity Time Type of exercise
3-5 days/week 55-90% of maximum heart rate 20-60 min. accumulated in 10 min. segments Aerobic
2-3 non-consecutive days/week One set of 3-20 reps.
(3-5), (8-10), (12-15)
20-30 minutes Strength training
2-3 days/week, ideal 5-7 days/week hold 15-30 seconds, repeat 2-4x Hold each stretch 10-30 seconds Stretching



Aerobic Exercise

Your exercise routine should include a variety of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, swimming, tennis or cycling. These activities benefit your heart and lungs, help manage your weight and provide protection against certain diseases.

Weight Training

Weight training or resistance exercises are great for developing muscle tone, increasing or restoring bone density, improving posture, helping you look and feel better, injury prevention and increasing your metabolism. You can use your own body weight (push ups), bands, free weights or machines.


Stretching should also be part of your regular fitness routine. Whether it’s a few stretches when you wake up in the morning, a yoga class or post-workout stretch, be sure to stretch each muscle that you use. Good flexibility reduces muscle soreness, improves posture, increases blood flow and nutrients to the tissues and improves balance and co-ordination.

Find activities you enjoy which fit into your lifestyle.  By accumulating at least 20-60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, you can live a healthier lifestyle, decrease your risk of many diseases and injuries, manage your weight, decrease pain and promote physiological well-being.

Cathy Morenzie is a Fitness Columnist for AfroToronto.com

Cathy Morenzie is a certified personal fitness trainer, fitness instructor and Pilates instructor. Cathy specializes in providing creative fitness solutions for people on the go and has trained thousands of clients and trainers over the last 20 years.  Look out for the launch of a new weight loss program GUARANTEED to change the way you see your body and your health. Visit http://www.harmonichealthandwellness.com or call 416-410-8517 for more information

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