Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Components of a Workout

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Oct 06 2009

The following information has been taken from the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Manual. This manual is used for the Water Safety Instructor Certification Course offered by the American Red Cross. For more information on the WSI certification and other courses please visit the American Red Cross site.

No matter what type of exercise program you are looking at starting, please visit your physician to help decide what type, intensity, and duration of a program would be right for you.

In the last entry I discussed the Concepts or Phases of a Fitness Program.  This entry is taking it a step further and discussing the components involved in a workout.  There are 5 components to a workout that will help safely and effectively take you through your workout.  These components are:

  1. Warm-Up
  2. Stretching
  3. Aerobic Set
  4. Muscular Development Set
  5. Cool-Down


The Warm-Up is used to prepare the individual’s body for exercise by increasing blood flow and helping to adjust the body to the workout environment.¬† It should last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.¬† When performing a water workout it may include walking, jogging, and/or low intensity swimming.

Stretching helps to make the individual’s joints more flexible and improve the individual’s range of motion (ROM).¬† The individual may perform two types of stretching, static or dynamic.¬† Static stretching occurs when the movements are passively stretched by holding them from 10-30 seconds.¬† Dynamic stretching occurs as the individual exaggerates movements that replicate specific sports or exercise movements.¬† According to current research statics, stretching should be used after an exercise, while dynamic stretching my be used during warm-ups or right after them.

The Aerobic Set is important to develop cardiovascular fitness.¬† To benefit from the aerobic set, the individual needs to maintain their heart rate in¬† the individual’s target range for at least 30 minutes.¬† The Aerobic Set should¬† make up 50-70% of the workout time and distance.¬† When performing a workout in the water¬†(or outdoors)¬†an individual must remember that target heart rate range will vary due to differences in water temperature and/or air temperature.¬† The aquatics facility will have a harder time maintaining exactly the same climate than a land based workout facility.¬† Another way to track an individual’s exertion is by using the Rate of Perceived Exertion or the Talk-Test Method.¬† I will discuss these methods at another time.

The Muscular Development Set is recommended by the ACSM.  During this set, the muscles are progressively overloaded by using resistance training (weight lifting).  When in the water, an individual may incorporate barbells, balls, noodles, fins, paddles/gloves, kick-boards, and/or bungy cords just to name a few.  An Individual must make sure to warm up thoroughly and learn the proper way to execute each exercise, identify the proper weight to use for resistance, and the correct number of repetitions for their current fitness level.

The last component of a good workout is a Cool-Down.  (I prefer to the term warm-down.)  This component is to help bring the body back to pre-exercise condition levels.  It is important to slowly lower the heart rate and cool the body, and stretch the muscles to help prevent cramping and soreness after the workout.  This component should last between 5 and 10 minutes.

So when an individual plans their workout for the day they should include at least a warm-up, stretching, an aerobic set, and a cool-down.  Muscular sets may be added as well, but are not necessary for each workout.

Phases of a Fitness Program

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Sep 19 2009

The following information has been taken from the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Manual.  This manual is used for the Water Safety Instructor Certification Course offered by the American Red Cross.  For more information on the WSI certification and other courses please visit the American Red Cross site.   

No matter what type of exercise program you are looking at starting, please visit your physician to help decide what type, intensity, and duration of a program would be right for you.

When an individual decides to start a new fitness regiment, there are a 4 concepts or phases to consider:

  1. Initial Phase
  2. Improvement Phase
  3. Maintenance Phase
  4. Reversibility of Training 


To start, the Initial Phase should involve lower intensity exercises.  The idea of this phase is to slowly and comfortably increase the workload for the individual.  Once the person is able to comfortably maintain 60% intensity for 30 minutes, they are then ready to move on to the Improvement Phase.  It is important to remember that the individual must be patient during this phase, it may take up to 10 weeks before the individual is ready to move on.

The Improvement Phase begins where the Initial Phase left of as the individual reaches the minimum level to attain cardiovascular fitness.  The individual must set a goal for the Improvement Phase.  They must know what they want to achieve to allow them to complete this phase.  Fitness for the individual will improve as frequency, intensity, and/or duration increase.  The individual should start this level with the ability to workout at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes at a 60% intensity level.  Improvement will come faster for those individuals who are working out 5 times a week, than those individuals who are only working out 3 times a week.  Improvement comes quicker during the Improvement Phase.

The third phase is used to maintain the fitness level when the individual reaches their goal from the Improvement Phase.  The main goal of the Maintenance Phase is to simply sustain the individuals fitness level.  It allows the individual the freedom to set different goals, like learning a new stroke or a different activity to vary their program.

The last concept to consider is the concept of Reversibility Training.  This is the one concept an individual should avoid if at all possible.  After an individual has achieved their desired fitness level they need to continue their program, for by ceasing their training or workout program, the individual will gradually return to the pre-exercise level.  It is important to remember that it does not make it any easier to return to shape if the individual has already been their once.  That individual will have to work just as hard to return to their desired fitness level as another individual who is working on achieving their desired level for the first time.  The key to remaining physically fit is for the individual to develop fitness habits that will last for a lifetime.

So when you are looking into starting a fitness program remember to consult your physician, be patient, relax, and keep it going once you start.

Mayo Clinic Site

Fitness, Health, Nutrition | Posted by Ang
Aug 13 2009

As part of the City of Bozeman’s Health Promotion Program they periodically send out information from the Mayo Clinic Site.¬† The most recent flyer we received from them contained information on the following topics:

  • Weight loss goals:¬† 10 tips for success
  • Fitness programs:¬† 10 tips for staying motivated
  • Headaches:¬† Self-care measures for headache relief
  • Social support:¬† Tap this tool to reduce stress

To access the information you will need to log into, if you are having problems logging into the site you may email them at

Looking for a Workout Buddy?

Fitness, Health | Posted by Ang
Jul 21 2009

Have you wanted to start working out, but haven’t been able to get yourself motivated enough to actually take that first step?¬† I just received a newsletter from Spark People reminding me how hard it is to make yourself get going on your own.¬† A ‘buddy’ to workout with is extremely helpful.¬† If you are looking for someone to help you, out check out this article¬†at Spark People.

As a side note Spark People is a nutritional website with a simple mission to help millions of people live healthier lives and reach their goals.

Working on Swimming Endurance

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Jul 13 2009

During the Course in which I participated last term I worked on both strength and endurance.  One of the tests I used for checking my progress was a 12 min swim.  I found this test by searching endurance swimming tests and found the following directions from the University of Michigan website:

This lab allows you to use whatever stroke you are comfortable with and compare your results to your age group.  You can also use the results to keep track of your improvement by repeating the swim every 2-3 weeks.

Nutritional Websites

Health, Nutrition | Posted by Ang
Jul 01 2009

During my participation in the Advanced Fitness and Performance Training Course from Eastern Oregon University we delved into the topic of nutrition.  I would like to pass on a couple of the websites which we utilized during the course.

The first site is from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion,  This site allows you to create an account for free to keep track of not only your food intake for the day, but also your activity level.  After inputting your information into the system it allows you to calculate comparisons for Dietary Guidelines, Your Personal Nutrient Intake, Your Personal Nutritional Stats, and Your Healthy Eating History.

The second site also allows you to keep track of your food intake and physical activity as well.  It is sponsored by Spark People,  Their mission is simple:  to help millions of people live healthier lives and reach their goals.  They have a multitude of information on healthier eating habits, to healthy recipes, along with other healthy living tips.

I hope that these may be of help to those of you looking to improve your health and nutrition.

Winning Acceptance as a New Certified Instructor–By Gloria Amanda

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Jun 28 2009

Recently the newsletter from contained this article I thought was interesting.

My heart is racing as I hang up the phone. I am a newly certified WaterART Instructor.¬†I have just spoken to my first employer. ‚ÄúIf you can come in tomorrow at 5:00pm for an interview, I have a class at 8:00pm… you could teach every Monday for the next 10 weeks.‚Ä̬†What a rush of adrenalin!¬†

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Advanced Fitness & Performance Training

Fitness, Health | Posted by Ang
May 14 2009

I recently participated in a new class offered through Eastern Oregon University.  This class provided me the opportunity for me to set my own goals and work hard to achieve them. 

I am glad to say that that I was able to achieve almost all of my fitness goals.  I have improved my swimming endurance, technique, and overall enjoyment of working out.  I still am working on my nutritional habits, but I can safely say that I have done really well with cutting back on drinking soda.  I have swapped a can of coke for a glass of ice water.

I hope to continue to work on eating healthier and staying fit.

Arthritis Program Functional Exercise – By Drusilla Leitch

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Jun 28 2005

The WaterARTTM Arthritis program has been developed to make life easier for people with arthritis to function more efficiently on land. Activities such as shopping, climbing stairs, enjoying social and sporting activities can all be simulated in the water with just a little imagination on the part of the Instructor.

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TARGET MUSCLES – Get to the ‚ÄúCORE‚ÄĚ of Stabilization – By Julie Twynham

Fitness, Health, Water Fitness | Posted by Ang
Jun 28 2005

Helping patrons get the most out of the WaterARTTM programs and doing it right is the primary responsibility of the fitness professional. Probably the greatest feature of water training is the constant abdominal and core stabilization training potential. Additionally, abdominals may be effectively targeted in the pain free environment of the water.
Part of exercise

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