For Improved Health, You Must Exercise Patience

For Improved Health, You Must Exercise Patience

Posted on: August 11, 2015

Have you recently changed your diet and exercise routines but haven’t seen the results you would like? Patience and persistence are the keys to better health.

Exercise Patience to lose weight, build muscle - Mercy HealthChat, Canton, Ohio

Guest post by Angelina Ciraci, Mercy Health & Fitness intern

When starting a new, healthier routine to achieve your wellness goals (weight loss, muscle building, increased stamina, etc.), you must be patient. Your level of fitness will not change overnight.

Patiently and Gradually Reduce Calorie Intake

So, where do you begin? If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. This might seem like a simple concept, but is sometimes easier said than done.

Related article: Why Your Exercise Plan Is a Big, Fat Fail for Weight Loss

One pound is equivalent to 3500 calories. A realistic goal would be to work to cut out about 3500 calories per week, or 500 calories a day. I don't blame you if you think that's a lot! But if you are willing to be patient and gradually lower your intake, you will see results.

One way to track your calories is to create a diet or nutrition log. There are also several different apps for your smartphone where you can track your calories and it will help you to reach your weight loss goal.

Exercise Patience with the FITT Principle

Patient is also necessary when it comes to working out. Exercise specialists often use something called the “FITT Principle” (frequency, intensity, time and type) to put together personalized exercise routines.

Related article: Be an Exercise Einstein

Below is an explanation of the FITT Principle, along with a sample plan, for someone who is looking to lose weight and burn fat.

  • F – (Frequency, or the amount of time you need to put in each week) – strive for five days per week
  • I – (Intensity, or the degree of difficulty each workout should reach based on a target heart rate range) – start moderately at 40-60% of target heart rate range
  • T – (Time, or amount of time per workout session you should put in to achieve your goals) – aim for at least 30 minutes. The American Heart Association recommends 150-230 minutes weekly.
  • T – (Type, or the exercise activities you want to do) – remember to incorporate both cardio and strength / resistance training

Be Patient with Strength Training. It Won't Show for Eight Weeks!

Patience is also vital when it comes to building muscle. Increases in strength begin to occur approximately two weeks into the individual’s resistance training. However, hypertrophy of the muscles does not begin to show until about eight weeks into the training program. Hypertrophy is simply defined as the growth or the enlargement of the muscles. This is why the individual must remain patient during their training.

After about a week of inactivity, the opposite of hypertrophy occurs – atrophy. This means that muscle size begins to decrease as well as the strength of the muscles. This is huge when it comes to resistance training because it causes major setbacks in an individual’s training.  

So, I urge you to stick with it! Good things come to those who patiently and persistently pursue health.


Need help staying patient and motivated with your eating and exercise routine? Contact Mercy Health & Fitness to speak with an exercise specialist today.

About Angelina Ciraci
Angelina Ciraci is a student from Baldwin Wallace University double majoring in exercise science and pre-physical therapy with a biology minor. She has been involved in the Pre-PT and Exercise Science Club, Circle K International, Habitat for Humanity and was a member of the varsity softball team for 2-1/2 years. After graduation, she plans to go on to graduate school to be a physician assistant.


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