Doctors prescribe medication to treat illnesses and
diseases. While they may give the same medicine to
different individuals suffering from the same
illness, they vary the 'dosage' of the medicine
from individual to individual. The same holds true
in the case of physical fitness. The exercises may
be the same, but their appropriate 'dosage' and
'intensity' should ideally vary from individual to
"Exercise prescription" should be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. It comprises the following :
Mode of exercise
Let's take a look at each of these factors:
I. FITNESS GOALS
Short-term and long-term goals are important components of Exercise Prescription. Goals serve as a motivation to commence an exercise programme.
A logical and common type of fitness goal is a 'performance goal'. However, short-term goals need not be "fixed in stone", and can be modified if required.
II. MODE OF EXERCISE
Every Exercise Prescription includes atleast one mode of exercise - a specific type of exercise that should be performed.
Take for instance, a fast bowler who wants to improve his cardio-respiratory fitness, so that he will be able to bowl a spell of 10-12 overs with more or less the same strength and sting, and subsequently give more than 100% as a fielder on the third-man or fine-leg boundary. To enhance cardio-respiratory fitness, he can choose from a wide variety of exercise modes, such as running, swimming or cycling.
A warm-up can be defined as exercise for a brief period of 5-15 minutes' duration, which precedes the workouts. Its generally involves light calisthenics; a low-intensity form of the mode of the actual exercise, and often includes stretching exercises. The purpose of warm-up is to ELEVATE MUSCLE TEMPERATURE and increase blood-flow to the muscles that will be engaged in the exercises. A warm-up can also reduce the strain on the heart that is imposed by heavy exercise, and it will reduce the risk of muscle injuries.
IV. PRIMARY CONDITIONING
The major components that make up the primary conditioning period are the mode of exercises and their FREQUENCY, INTENSITY and DURATION.
FREQUENCY OF THE EXERCISE
'Frequency' refers to the number of times per week that one should exercise. The recommended frequency of exercises that will have a significant impact on improving health and fitness is 3-5 times a week.
It means the amount of physiological stress or overload placed on the body while exercising. A load that can be lifted only five to eight times before complete muscular fatigue, is an example of a high-intensity strength-training exercise. In contrast, a load that can be lifted 50-60 times without resulting in muscular fatigue is an illustration of low-intensity strength training.
DURATION OF EXERCISE
The amount of time invested in performing the primary workout. The duration of exercise does not include the warm-up and cool-down exercises. A period of 20-30 mins per session (thrice a week) is the minimum amount of time required to significantly improve physical fitness.
V. COOL-DOWN (sometimes called warm-up)
This is a 5-15 minute-long period of low-intensity exercise that immediately follows the primary conditioning period.
Slow walking can be used as a 'cool-down'. A cool-down period accomplishes several goals.
During exercise, the heart pumps a large amount of blood into the working muscles. The cool-down period allows blood to return to the heart. While the cool-down may not eliminate muscular soreness entirely, it is entirely possible that the severity of the exercise-induced muscle-soreness will be less in people who perform a proper cool-down.