2013-03-15 / Sports

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

Developing a Realistic Health & Fitness Plan…
By Steven C. McCartney IPO, HSW, MS

The first step in developing a realistic fitness plan is to first have a fitness assessment (start a portfolio). This allows a person to learn about your present health status (baseline measurement). A realistic fitness plan includes monitoring resting heart rate, and target heart rate, monitoring blood pressure, weight, height, body composition, body mass index (fat vs. muscle mass) or waist to hips ratio, and strength assessment to determine your individual baseline. This makes it easy to participate safely in an exercise program as an active manager to your health.

Exercise and diet are essential part in achieving health related fitness. Health related fitness consist of five components: 1. Strength (maximum ability): 2. Muscle Endurance: 3. Cardio respiratory or cardiovascular endurance (The body’s ability to supply oxygen to working muscles) consisting of aerobic exercise such as walking, biking, swimming and dancing, which work most of the body: 4. Flexibility helps redistribute blood after bouts of exercise (also to stretch and loosen muscles and joints; and 5. Body Composition (percent of body fat).

I also recommend goal setting strategies (positive self-talk – Today I will… to achieve fitness and healthy diet by making good food choices and having a food plan. It is important that we are consuming the right nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, minerals and vitamins). Eating healthy food and following a balanced diet is critical (Archive The Wave newspaper article “Daily Estimate Energy Requirement EER”).

It is now easier than ever to create a food plan (go to www.myplate.gov). Food plans are great for understanding the nutritional values between (carbohydrates, protein, fats, water, minerals and vitamins) food choice and helps in the maintenance of your health (mental, physical and social well being), and in the growth and repair of tissues. The method I use to maintain a healthy diet is to exercise (I love to swim this helps with the metabolism and how the body converts food to energy), eat a variety of foods from each food group, eat a variety of things every day, and control portion sizes.

The best way to start eating healthier is to have an organized food plan and make an exercise action plan that states your goals and includes your chosen exercises (this should include activities you like doing), and how long you will stick with this plan. Eight to 12 weeks is a reasonable time commitment for a new program. Also, guidelines for fitness testing and exercise prescription consist of a medical clearance by a physician (this will include medical history, lifestyle, and health and fitness goals). In addition archive The Wave Newspaper articles titled Form a Support Team or Goal Setting Blueprint for the New Year or Revisit Your Action Plan and Problem Solving Techniques Daily. Remember the objective of a realistic fitness plan is that it is measurable and achievable on something you can do.

This article is dedicated to the supporters of Rockaway Walks 12 week fitness program. Special thanks go out to Senator James Sanders Jr., Donovan Richards, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the Joseph Addabbo Health Center, Stop N Shop, Modell’s Sporting Goods, CUNY University Student Senate, VESID, York College, The Wave Newspaper, NYC Parks and Recreation, Department of Environmental Protection and Healthy Lifestyle Changes, Inc. For questions or concerns contact me at steven_ mccartney@walkprograms.com.

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