An exercise program focuses on three aspects that include: cardiovascular training, resistance training, and flexibility. All three should be performed each week and vary depending on the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time, and type).
Frequency: The number of days per week dedicated to an exercise program.
Intensity: Low, moderate, vigorous
- Low intensity: Able to sing
- Moderate intensity: Able to talk in sentences
- Vigorous intensity: Difficult to speak
Time: Duration of exercise
Type: Mode of exercise
Components of each exercise sessions include:
Warm-up: At least 5 to 10 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardiovascular and muscular endurance activities.
Conditioning: At least 20 to 60 minutes of desired exercise activity or bouts of 10 minutes to accumulate over the day are also acceptable.
Cool-down: At least 5 to 10 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardiovascular and muscular endurance activities.
Stretching: At least 10 minutes of stretching exercises performed after the warm-up or cool down phase
Cardiovascular training should be done at least five days per week at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes; or done at least three days per week at a vigorous intensity for 20 to 25 minutes. A combination of the two is also an option. This intensity is recommended for the majority of adults to achieve and maintain health and fitness benefits.
A variety of modes can be used: walking/running on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair step machine, rowing, swimming, aerobic classes, hiking outdoors, playing basketball, tennis, volleyball, and washing the car, cleaning windows, cleaning the garage, and mowing the lawn all count towards achieving exercise during the day.