The Exercise Prescription – Part 2 – Needs Analysis


Needs Analysis

*One key step in this process is determining which of the following above needs to be focused on when developing an exercise prescription.


As you may know, strength is correlated with longevity. Strength prevents frailty. Some form of resistance training must be included in the exercise prescription.

According to the Department of Health, Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. The diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia means bones are not as dense as they should be and are prone to fractures. Hip fractures are associated with decreased longevity. Sadly, many times after this happens it is only a matter of time until death. Is there a family history of osteoporosis? The condition can be prevented to large extent. Are you a lightweight person that smokes and drinks excessive amounts of soda? Then, your risk increases. Again, resistance exercise should be a priority as this will improve bone density and strength.

Cardiovascular health should be an important consideration as well. To work efficiently during exercise is good for promoting longevity. It improves sleep. It decreases inflammation which can prevent the onset of diseases of aging like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Exercise improves hormonal health, testosterone, and growth hormone. When in abundance, these are associated with living longer and preventing age-related diseases. If you are in the mid-thirties or older, you should complete blood work and have your hormones optimized. When bioidentical hormone replacement is used the health benefits are significant in preventing diseases of aging and feeling healthier overall; however, make sure to stay away from any synthetic non-bioidentical hormone.

While reading this, think about the injuries you want to work around. Do you have a bad back that needs to be improved, or a painful knee with certain movements? These can be trained and improved.

Remember, flexibility and balance will improve with an intelligently designed exercise prescription, and can be completed in as little as 20-30 minutes a day.

A couple considerations:

  • What exercise is enjoyable to do?
  • Is there a sport specific activity to train for?

This is key. No one will continue doing something they do not enjoy doing. It would be masochistic. So, find an exercise or activity that is enjoyable.

I knew someone who despised running and I asked why they are doing it if they do not like it. She explained she is needing to lose weight. We talked about goals vs systems and identified exercises she enjoys while developing an exercise program she could maintain. There are plenty of ways to improve cardiovascular health, set yourself up for success and start an exercise program that excites you.

Walking is also beneficial for cardiovascular health and often overlooked as it is the most fundamental of movements and exercise. Resistance training in particular focusing on core strength, and flexibility would also be ideal considerations. HIIT training would especially benefit a golfer – the golf swing is completely anaerobic as an exercise – improving muscle explosiveness would be ideal as well.

The goal here is to help you design an exercise program to develop an exercise program to train for an activity you enjoy.

Everyone starts at a different level, so it is important you do not compare yourself to others during this process. For many, initiating only 20 minutes of walking a day is a great start and something to be proud of as the mindset is sticking with the system. As progress in the journey is made, other elements can be added.