Fitness That Works is a 6 week physical activity incentive program. It begins on Monday, April 6th, 2015 and ends on Sunday, May 17th, 2015. Participants keep track of activity by checking off boxes on a log sheet. Each day there are 10 possible boxes to mark. There is one box for each of the 7 simple moves and 3 additional boxes for each period of cardio lasting 10 or more minutes. Every box is worth 1 point. Therefore, a person could get up to 10 points per day and as many as 70 possible points per week.
Individuals participate as members of a team. A team could be as few as 2 people. Each team has a designated captain. The team captain calculates the average number of points tallied per person per week on their team. They report that number on Monday, at the beginning of the next week, for the boxes checked the previous week.
Checking off boxes on a scorecard sounds easy. But, as simple as this seems, it may still be a challenge. Living an active lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult, but changing your current routine, can be harder than imagined. Most of the 7 simple moves are strengthening exercises. An effective strengthening exercise can be completed in less than 2 minutes. The reach category is for stretching. It could be checked for doing one or more stretches. A stretch can be done in less than 1 minute.
To be effective a strengthening exercise for a particular muscle group or movement could be done as infrequently as 2-3 well spaced days per week. It is possible that daily commitment could make building the habit of regular participation easier and does score points. Don’t worry about scoring the most points. Make this program work for you. Use it to improve the quality of your commitment to a physically active lifestyle. You may find that adding even just a few minutes of time spent with additional physical activity will require more planning and perseverance on your part than expected. It is well worth it. More is not always necessary or necessarily better. But, something is always better than nothing. Stick with it and focus on building the habit of regular participation. Create a long-term commitment to physical activity that works for you.
The team with the highest score doesn’t win and the team with the lowest score doesn’t lose. Everyone who participates in appropriate physical activity benefits and is a winner. Every member of each team earns a stretching strap if everyone on the team tracks at least 1 or more activity 5 or more days each week of the program.
7 Simple Moves –
Balance: Any movement or static position that challenges coordination qualifies. Stretching or strengthening exercises could be structured to include a balance challenge. Even activities of daily living could be used to improve balance like brushing your teeth while standing on one leg at a time.
Reach: Any stretch or selection of stretches qualifies. Range of motion movements could also be done during usual activities of daily living. I alternate putting one leg, then the other on the bathroom countertop while shaving (my face, not my legs!) each morning.
Step: Could be used for climbing a flight or flights of stairs. It could also be used for a walk even if it is less than 10 minutes in duration. If you’re not already a regular walker, beginning with a 2 minute or shorter walk may be more realistic than starting with 10 minutes. Step could also be used for step-ups, a leg strengthening exercise.
Push – Pull: Strengthening exercises for the upper body. A pushing out (working the chest, front of the shoulders and back of the arms) and pulling back (working the upper-back and front of the arms) progression will be provided that accommodate beginners thru advanced exercisers.
Squat-Lift: This could include any leg pressing strengthening exercise. They involve the major muscles or motions of the lower body, working the muscles of the front of the upper leg, the quadriceps to straighten the leg at the knee, the muscles of the back of the upper leg, the hamstrings and buttocks muscles to straighten the leg at the hips and the back of the lower legs, the calves, to push with the toes. Variations include beginning with a wall sit and slide progressing to body weight squats as conditioning improves.
Twist: This could be a rotational static stretch for the torso. However, the category is being expanded to also include any stomach and/or back stretching or strengthening exercise.
Lunge: The lunge could be done as either a static stretching or a dynamic strengthening exercise. As a stretch, the focus is on stretching the hip flexors of the back leg. As a strengthening exercise, the emphasis is on strengthening the leg straightening muscles.