Below are descriptions of the components of the MyFitScript program and some supporting information. Scroll down to the desired section.
- What does F.I.T.E. mean on my exercise program?
- How do I exercise to see results?
- Is MyFitScript supported by guidelines and recommendations for exercise?
- MyFitScript Programs Reflect Recommendations
- A Word About Intensity
What does F.I.T.E. mean on my exercise program?
F.I.T.E. is a formula designed to describe the important elements of your exercise program and is specific to age and chronic condition based on guidelines described below.
F stands for frequency and refers to how many times per week you exercise. For example, strength training is typically recommended 2-3 days per week on alternate days.
I stands for intensity and refers to how hard you exercise. This can be determined in a number of ways and MyFitScript uses the Borg RPE Scale and heart rate chart. Typically older adults find it easier to use the RPE Scale since some medications may alter heart rate and therefore using the heart rate chart may not be advised.
T stands for time, or duration, and refers to how long exercise is recommended. For example, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day for 5 days per week is based on recommendations. Some recommendations may vary. However overall, we all agree we need to move more!
E stands for exercise and refers to the type or modality of exercise. For example, the exercise prescription may recommend walking or cycling as modalities of exercise used to improve cardiovascular conditioning. Choose the exercise modality you prefer and make it a habit!
How do I exercise to see results?
Speed refers to how fast you perform exercise. In the case of strength training or weight lifting, perform all movements slowly using correct form and do not hold your breath on exertion! This may cause an increase in internal pressure. Take about 2 seconds to exert or lift the weight, pause momentarily, then take 4 seconds to lower the weight. Training slowly uses more muscle tension, more muscle force, more muscle fibers and reduces the risk of injury. You’ll get better results if you do it right!
Range refers to the performance of all movements throughout a full range of motion about the joint. This will allow for greater joint flexibility.
Progression refers to a gradual increase in workload and can be achieved by increasing duration, frequency, or intensity. For example, if you begin walking 3 days per week, a way to progress might be to increase the frequency to 4 days per week. Or, if you are walking for 15 minutes you may want to progress by increasing to 20 or 30 minutes. Intensity may be increased by walking faster or using an incline on the treadmill. Begin slowly using the RPE or heart rate chart to monitor intensity. In the case of strength training, progression can be achieved by adding weight, repetitions, or sets. Each MyFitScript program provides a range to work up to. It is important that you begin slowly and progress according to your perceived exertion and program recommendations. If you start out of the gate fast you’ll most likely run out of energy just as fast. Progressive resistance is the key to muscle strength development. Work up to 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions or as described in your program. Once that is ‘easy’ progress with adding weight. A general rule of thumb is if you cannot lift 8 repetitions then the weight is probably too heavy. Drop the weight and increase the reps.
Continuity refers to strength training and the notion that training the larger muscle groups first and then working the smaller muscle groups provides for a better training effect.
Is MyFitScript supported by guidelines and recommendations for exercise?
MyFitScript exercise programs reflect the most recent guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Heart Association (AHA), and The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is important to note that the recommendations of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report aligns with the above recommendations. Several large-scale epidemiologic studies further underscore the dose-response relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease and premature mortality. This means that different levels of exercise (doses) can have an impact on the development of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
In essence, some exercise is better than none and more exercise is better to reduce risks for cardiovascular disease.
According to a quantitative review reported in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, even small amounts of physical activity will help reduce heart disease risk, and the benefit increases as the amount of activity increases. It is further recommended that even if you break up your activity into three 10-minute bouts a day you will still achieve health benefits! However 30 one-minute bouts may not be quite as effective!
There are two sides to every coin. Just as there is a direct correlation between exercise and disease risks, there is also an inverse relationship. In other words, lack of physical activity or exercise may lead to all cause mortality, chronic disease, overweight, increased fat distribution and obesity, type II diabetes, colon cancer, decreased quality of life, and decreased independence for the older individual.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report which impacts exercise guidelines:
- Important health benefits can be obtained by engaging in a moderate amount of physical activity on most, if not all days of the week.
- Additional health benefits result from greater amounts of physical activity. Furthermore, individuals who maintain a regular exercise program that is longer in duration or is more vigorous in intensity are likely to achieve greater benefits.
*vigorous exercise intensity is not recommended for older individuals
**moderate and vigorous exercise intensity is defined below as per standard guidelines
MyFitScript Programs Reflect Recommendations
You’ll see that MyFitScript programs contain exercise prescriptions in detail for strength and cardiovascular components specifically. It’s important to understand the prescription and to use the Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale or heart rate range chart to monitor a safe level of exercise intensity as prescribed. (See How to Use the Borg Scale under Library on the website)
The following exercise recommendations are for the healthy adult and reflect ACSM guidelines. Please refer to your MyFitScript program for specific exercise recommendations regarding chronic disease, risk factor, and age.
- ACSM recommends moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 or more days per week (≥150 minutes) or vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes 3 or more days per week (≥75 minutes)
- A combination of 3-5 days of moderate and vigorous exercise is recommended
- On 2-3 days per week adults should also perform resistance exercises (strength training) for each of the major muscle groups, and neuromotor exercise involving balance, agility, and coordination
- For flexibility, completing a series of flexibility exercises to be preceded by a warm-up for each of the major muscle-tendon groups (a total of 60 seconds per exercise) on at least 2-3 days per week is recommended
A Word About Intensity
Intensity is the relative difficulty or how hard the exercise feels. MyFitScript uses the Borg RPE scale to help guide individuals in safely monitoring their exercise intensity. In some instances an individual may use their heart rate range to monitor intensity. Tables are found on many of the MyFitScript programs as well. Certain medications may prevent accurate and safe monitoring using heart rate, therefore RPE is recommended. For cardiorespiratory fitness, the ACSM recommends an intensity that will illicit an RPE within a range of 12-16 on the 6-20 (Borg) RPE scale. This is considered a ‘moderate’ level whereas vigorous exercise will stress the heart and system even more and is not recommended for the older individual or individuals with certain conditions. The ‘walk talk’ test is a good indication that you are moderately exercising at a pace that can be sustained!
Be sure you talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program!
Now get out there and make us proud!
It’s YOUR move!