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The purpose of exercise prescription is to ensure the safety and overall health and wellness of each individual client and their needs as they pertain to an exercise program that will benefit them. Each client is unique in their own fitness story; their health history, limitations due to injuries or possible diseases, and their goals will each vary from client to client. This is why exercise prescriptions are so important to utilize. It is a plan that is designed by a fitness and rehabilitation specialist to adhere to each client’s specific needs and limitations that will help them improve in strength and endurance and will keep them safe and within their limitations so to avoid injuries. The principles of exercise prescription (Ex Rx) include FITT and FITT-VP principles. For example, in our course text on page 163 the discussion of specific principles state, “When periods of physical inactivity are broken up by short bouts of standing or physical activity (e.g., a very short walk around the office or home), the adverse effects of physical inactivity are reduced (20,34). Therefore, the Ex Rx should include a plan to decrease periods of physical inactivity in addition to an increase in physical activity” (American College Sports, 2013).
The similarities within the FITT principles and the FITT-VP principles is that they both generalize the same concept of frequency, intensity, time, and type. They both also promote increases in exercise. They defer in how and when the increases are made. The VP in FITT-VP stands for Volume and progression. When the FITT principle was too standard there was need for more specific training to avoid injury and overtraining and to also know when to increase appropriately. So, the VP was created to close this gap in the training techniques. “Any progression in the FITT-VP principle of Ex Rx should be made gradually avoiding large increases in any of the FITT-VP components to minimize risks of muscular soreness, injury, undue fatigue, and the long-term risk of over-training.” (American College Sports, 2013).
Factors that must be considered when designing exercise prescriptions to individuals is their overall health and wellness, their family health history, any injuries they may have now or had in the past, and their current health status. By understanding these factors the health care professional can understand any possible limitations and preform an exercise test to see where they are currently at physically.
These factors mentioned above are all equally important. If not taken into consideration many health risks are likely to cause injuries. For example: if any current or past injuries are neglected to be informed prior to training certain exercises may be prescribed to the client that could potentially re-injure or further injure the affected area. Likewise, if family medical history is also neglected and there are serious family health history concerns that could indicate potential harmful side effects when participating in physical activity then there could be detrimental consequences.
The components of an exercise training session seen in Box 7.1 are all extremely important to each exerciser. A warm-up is important to help the body begin increasing the heart rate and supplying the muscles with oxygen during aerobic exercise, and aid in the transfer of ATP to the muscles when participating in anaerobic exercise. A warm up can be accomplished by participating in 5-10 minutes of light to moderate cardio.
Conditioning is the act of participating in aerobic, resistance, neuromotor, and or any sports activities for anywhere between 20-60 minutes. These activities will increase muscle endurance, muscle strength, improvement in balance, and more depending on what activity is being performed.
The cool-down is also vastly important. Much like the warm-up the cool down will increase the body’s core temperature and increase the heart rate. After a workout the lactic acid that is built up in the muscle needs to be flushed out to avoid muscle soreness. The cool-down will aid in this process and also help when beginning the flexibility portion of the exercise training session.
Stretching is so important not to forget. After a cool-down, “it is best to start stretching while to core temperature is elevated” (Frederick C. Hatfield, 2015). This will help the muscles to expand further. Stretching is an important part of any exercise training session due to the increase in ROM and the muscle tension release that is gained when participating in stretching after a workout.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2014). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (9th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Frederick C. Hatfield. (2015). Fitness: The Complete Guide. Carpentaria, CA: International Sports Science Association