Delivery of Fitness Program
Careful organization and sequencing is critical when delivering the program. By conducting one step at a time, the level of frustration experienced by the participant will be decreased.Another method for the successful delivery of each fitness program is to map out each problem that may be encountered and formulate a strategy to deal with that problem.
In administering these programs, it is important to distinguish whether they should be delivered sequentially, or if each program should be treated as a separate unit delivered randomly. Limitations should not be placed on individuals wanting to participate in a fitness program because he or she prefers one activity to another. Rob and Sam prefer strength training to cardiovascular work, and their participation in the program would be limited if they felt that they had to participate in the other aspects of the program. The best fitness program, however, does combine all three aspects of the fitness regimen: stretching, strength, and cardiovascular training.
Typically, persons with a brain injury have been sedentary for long periods of time. Muscles are tight and atrophied from inactivity. Stretching is an easy and economical way to start a fitness program while ensuring suppleness and flexibility for the muscle groups so as to prevent injury. This phase of training may be used to prepare the muscle groups for the added stress that will be placed on them from strength and cardiovascular training. There is no cost involved, and stretching can be performed on location at any site.
Strength training is a way for a participant to see quick results, which can be a powerful motivation for those who need to see progress quickly. Because strength training shows more noticeable progress through advances in weight or resistance, it becomes a popular phase of the training cycle. Changes are more quickly noted in body composition and dimensions than in any other aspect of training. Strength training helps the individual develop muscular strength for participating in cardiovascular activities.
Cardiovascular training is an equally important phase of the fitness program, and can be the most important element. Aerobic work is key for improving the efficiency of the heart and lungs and is the best way to reduce body fat. However, a program based on cardiovascular training alone has little effect on muscular strength and endurance. To promote interest in a cardiovascular program, it may be helpful to initially choose activities such as walking outdoors, dancing, or swimming. These activities will add flavor to the program and will be less monotonous for the participant.