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BYU researchers found way to create prescribed exercises

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The buildings of the banking district are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, as a man jogs by before sunrise.

The buildings of the banking district are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, as a man jogs by before sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.

Michael Probst, Associated Press

BYU researchers found that “prescribed” workouts might be the key to helping individuals achieve their health goals.

The Journal of Applied Physiology published the study, which determined how physicians can carefully select a workout for individuals to help them see results in their health and overall fitness.

What the study found

The findings included that when a person receives prescribed exercise routines based on their “critical power” range, it will improve their ability to meet their desired physical fitness and health goals.

The “critical power” range is defined as “the level at which we can perform for a long period of time before things start to get uncomfortable,” lead author of the study, Jessica Collins, said, according to BYU News.

The study pointed out that though people could perform the exact same exercise, it is the “critical power” range that helps determine whether or not someone is benefiting from the exercise or not.

For example, while two people could hold the same max heart rate, if they ran at the same speed for the same distance, one of the two people may have a more difficult time with the workout than the other, according to BYU News.

The study concludes that physicians could use the knowledge of the “critical power” range in order to determine which workouts to prescribe to a specific patient.

Why prescribed workouts?

Prescribed workouts from professionals not only help people achieve their fitness goals, but could allow them to do so safely, according to Very Well Fit.

Medscape reported that because every person is unique with their own set of health goals, personal and prescribed workouts might become a more common solution in the medical field.

“One day we’ll get to prescribe exercise like medicine,” BYU exercise science professor and senior author on the study, Jayson Grifford, said. “In order to prescribe medicine, you need to have predictable results for each dosage of medicine. We’ve found the exact same thing applies to exercise.”

The Psychiatric Times reported that not only is exercise a huge tool in managing weight and physical health, it has also proved to aid in managing anxiety and depression.

“This kind of research helps every kind of person, no matter how active they presently are,” Collins said.