The FITT Principle
If you are active daily, you may notice that certain activities get easier over time. Maybe you don’t breathe as hard as you used to; maybe you can engage in that activity for a longer period of time; maybe you feel less tired. This is all good, right? The short answer is YES! However, you may also notice that you are not seeing benefits as quickly. For example: let’s say your goal is weight loss. When we are challenging our body, weight seems to come off pretty easily. Over time as our body gets used to the activity, weight loss seems to slow down. So how do we fix this? We challenge our body again, but how? By using the FITT Principle.
The FITT Principle provides four ways to challenge our body so that it is actively engaged. Just as we sometimes get bored doing the same thing over and over, our body functions in a similar way. We will discuss what FITT stands for and what each one means.
F: Frequency – How long are you engaged in an activity? This means changing the number of times you are doing something. For example: if you walk two days a week, you can change the frequency by walking three days a week.
I: Intensity – How hard are you engaging in that activity? Or how much energy are you using in that activity? Let’s take the walking example – If you’re walking a mile in those 20 minutes, try walking it in 15 minutes.
T: Time – How long are you engaging in that activity? This refers to the amount of time you are engaging in that activity. If you walk for 20 minutes, try walking for 30 minutes at the same pace. You’re not walking faster, you’re just walking for 10 more minutes.
T: Type – What kind of activity are you engaging in? This means that you may want to change the activity altogether or add something to the activity to create a new one. The type of activity doesn’t have to completely replace your current activity. So if you walk 3 days a week, you may now decide to walk 2 days a week and ride your bike on the 3rd day.
The degree to which you modify an activity, how many variables you want to change at one time, or how long you want to make the change last, are all up to you. Making these modifications even slightly will give your body something new and challenging to work on, thus helping you continue to reach your goal. The great thing is, there is no end to the possibilities, as long as you are being safe and not hurting yourself, but also realizing that your body can do a lot more than we sometimes give it credit.
For more information, contact me or send a comment!