There are  eight essential elements that come into play when putting together  your health and fitness program.  Strength training, cardiovascular exercise, psychological techniques, therapeutic modalities, medical support, biomechanics, dietary manipulation, and nutritional supplementation are all major contributors worth learning and applying to your daily life for optimal success.  Start small, pre-plan, and you will be well on your way to changing your body systematically.

1.  Strength Training- How often, what types, what intensity, how long for each session??? These are all great questions.  As a personal trainer it is my job to formulate the best training plan to keep you injury free, progressing in strength, and meeting your goals.  

1)Frequency of exercise: How often should you exercise each week: 2x/week for maintenance, 3x for beginners, 5x for serious fitness enthusiasts.

2) Intensity of exercise: How hard should you exercise? 2-3x/week- high intensity, training 5x or more= periodize your training to avoid overtraining

3) Time to Exercise: How long should you exercise each session? For strength- less then and hour, for aerobic up to 2 hours.

4) Type of exercise: What exercises should you do? Beginners- array of exercise methods to reverse the processes of disuse in all major muscle groups and bodily system.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise- From walking to running to skiing to biking, pick your poison!  It all counts.  Most doctors recommend 10,000 step per day to achieve a standard base of fitness.  Pedometers are great tools to keep you on task and I see them push clients harder then without.

3. Psychological Techniques- Mental imagery training, transcendental meditation, and other forms of mental conditioning can help improve your strength output capabilities in sports and training.  Visualize seeing your self reaching your goal. 

4. Therapeutic modalities- Whirlpools, electrical muscle stimulation, massage, ultrasound, music, intense light and a host of other therapies an have a very poitive feect on your strength training efforts, indirectly and directly.

5. Medical Support- Periodic checkups, exercising preventive care,  andchiropractic adjustments

6. Biomechanics- Performing your skill perfectly will almost always result in greater force being applied.  Good form is essential to isolate the muscles and preventing injury.

7. Dietary Manipulation- You don't eat just to stay alive and healthy, you eat to excel at your sport  or fitness activity.  Eating assists  in achieving specific sports/training objectives.  There are many nutritional techniques that will ensure greater force output capabilities both immediately and over time, thereby improving your training and competition efforts.  You can not store protein so it is essential to have small frequent meals.  Consistency and quality are more important then quantity per serving.

8. Nutritional Supplementation- Food alone may not be sufficient to give you all the nutrients you need in order to achieve your sports/training objectives.  This point is widely disputed among sports scientists and nutritionists alike.  Vitamins are best absorbed through your diet.  I find a protein supplement very beneficial to me personally. When I get a hard weight training in it is essential to take in protein and easy carbohydrates within 15-30 minutes(timing!!!)for optimal success in recovery and building muscle.  Remember- you never build muscle in the gym- you are only breaking it down.  The only way to build muscle(that you work hard for through your weight training program) is with consistent protein. I suggest 15-20 for females and up to 20-30 for a male.