Start-or keep-a fitness routine this spring
by CJ Blomquist
Optum Health Care
Now that spring is here, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. People can make the most of their time outdoors by getting in longer walks and doing yoga, and those feeling more ambitious can set goals using the F.I.T. formula.
F.I.T. stands for Frequency, Intensity and Time. Frequency describes how often people exercise, while Intensity is how hard they work out, and Time is how long they work out each time. These elements are good for everyone, no matter their fitness level. And they can be updated as people’s fitness levels change.
Those just getting started may decide to walk three times a week (Frequency) at a slower pace (Intensity) for 30 minutes (Time). They can set a reward for themselves if they meet their goals; for example, if the goal is to walk three times a week and they do that for a full month, then they can treat themselves to a favorite meal. These tactics can help people get into a routine. As they become more comfortable, they may decide to pick up their pace or walk for a longer time. It’s important for people to pay attention to how hard they’re working. They should be able to walk and talk at the same time. If people can’t talk because they are breathing hard, then they should probably slow down. But if they can sing while walking, then they might want to ramp up to a more moderate pace.
The point of exercising is to build up strength over time, so don’t overdo it right away, though. People should want to push themselves, but not too hard. If a person’s heart rate is really fast or he or she is feeling sick longer than 10 minutes after working out, the routine may be too intense. Anyone who continues feeling this way after working out should check with a doctor.
It can be helpful to track progress on a calendar, to get a visual on how much a person is improving. Don’t expect perfection: Everyone has off days. But if people are missing a lot of goals, they might want to consider a different approach.
Whether a person wants to lose weight, get stronger or just enjoy being outside more often, the F.I.T. formula can be a useful way to reach that goal.