As the winter snow begins to thaw and we look toward spring, now is a good time to assess, or re-assess, one’s fitness goals. Perhaps the New Year’s resolution to commit to a better diet and regular exercise never materialized or perhaps you feel like you’ve reached a plateau and can’t recognize any gains despite your best efforts. Maybe, it’s time to “reboot”! Take advantage of one of the many benefits that being a UCHealth Medical Fitness member offers and get a personalized fitness assessment and exercise prescription that is available.
A personalized fitness assessment and exercise prescription has many important components. Your overall health history will be reviewed in the context of keeping you safe during exercise and what type of exercise plan will benefit you the most. Consultation with your physician might be advised based on certain items such as overall heart attack risk.
Next, an assessment of your fitness goal and current fitness status will be undertaken. Things such as current weight, waist circumference and percent body fat will be measured. Specific fitness testing appropriate to the individual will be done to compare against people of similar age and gender as well as to compare future gains.
Following the assessment, an exercise program will be developed for you based on fitness level, medical concerns and, most importantly, what sort of things you’ll enjoy doing for exercise. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
An exercise prescription generally includes the following specific recommendations:
- Type of exercise or activity (e.g., walking, swimming, cycling)
- Specific workloads (e.g., watts, walking speed)
- Duration and frequency of the activity or exercise session
- Intensity guidelines: Target heart rate (THR) range and estimated rate of perceived exertion (RPE)
- Precautions regarding certain orthopedic (or other) concerns or related comments
After 6 months or so, we would encourage repeating the assessment to update the exercise prescription as needed. Tangible gains will reinforce that all the efforts are indeed working and you’ll be more likely to stick with it!