Learning to Apply the FITT Principle to Your Exercise Plan

Make the most of your workout by using the FITT Principle

One of the biggest challenges with exercise is knowing where to start and how to get better. To improve your fitness, you must self-monitor your workouts and make changes when necessary. One of the best tools you can use to help you is the FITT Principle.

FITT is an acronym that outlines the basic components of a successful exercise plan.

  • Frequency – How often you exercise
  • Intensity – How hard you exercise
  • Time – How long you exercise
  • Type – What kind of exercise you do

How Often Should You Exercise?

It is a myth that you must work out for extended periods every day to lose weight and keep it off. What is considered an “effective” exercise varies between people. Factors that affect this include age, fitness level, mobility, health conditions, etc.

Before you begin an exercise plan and decide how often to exercise, consider these key factors.

  • What is your current fitness level? What are you able to do?
  • What is your schedule? How much time do you have to exercise?
  • What health and fitness goals do you want to achieve?

Build your plan off of the answers to these questions. If you are a busy mom and you want to lose weight to gain more energy, you might not have a lot of time. Maybe your only form of exercise is keeping up with your kids. In this case, you may want to start small. For example, you could plan workouts for weekend afternoons when your spouse can watch the kids.

How Hard Should You Exercise?

The best way to see how hard you are working is to monitor your heart rate. You can do this by wearing a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor or smart watch. You can also feel for your heartbeat and count it over a 15-second period.

  • Low-intensity – An activity level you can continue for a long time (walking)
  • Moderate-intensity – An activity level that will boost your heart rate and require effort to maintain (biking)
  • High-intensity – An activity level that feels like an all-out effort. Your heart rate is high and you can’t speak complete sentences between breaths

How Long Should You Exercise?

The time you spend exercising will usually depend on what you are doing. Health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise each workout. However, if you are doing a strength-based exercise, you will likely pay more attention to your number of “sets” and “reps.” Regardless, many other factors are involved.

  • The amount of time you have
  • How long it takes you to feel fatigued
  • Weather, time of day
  • Health conditions

What Should You Do for Exercise?

Should you hit up the elliptical at the gym? Should you go for a hike? The type of exercise you do depends on what you like and what results you want.

For example, if you want to improve your cardio-vascular fitness and you love the outdoors, try exercises like hiking, swimming and biking. If you want to improve your muscle strength and you enjoy the convenience of the gym, try using free weights or machine weights. You can also use your body weight for exercises like push-ups, chin-ups, planks, etc.

The FITT Principle: Final Considerations

You can use the FITT Principle for cardio exercise, strength-based exercise, stretching and more. However, before you start any exercise plan, first consult with your healthcare provider. They will help you develop a plan that is safe and effective. By using the FITT Principle, you can not only improve your fitness level with time, but you can also prevent serious injury.

For more information on this topic, CLICK HERE for education from the Obesity Action Coalition.

Learn. Connect. Engage.

learn, connect, engage icons

Gain the tools you need to succeed in your health journey. Join the OAC Community at NO COST and get access to: Valuable Education – Ongoing Support – Meaningful Connections – Much More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *