What are some of the benefits of exercise?
- Increases strength and stamina for activities of daily living
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Reduces risk of developing Type II Diabetes
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Aids in weight loss/maintenance of healthy body weight
- Increases the amount of calories you burn at rest (i.e. resting metabolic rate)
- Aids in stress management
- Assists with blood pressure control
- Improves lipid profile
- Makes you feel better about yourself
- Improves flexibility
- Helps reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis
* These are just some of the benefits of exercise. You may have thought of some benefits not listed here.
What are the components of a well-rounded exercise program?
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Muscular fitness
- Cool-down, including flexibility exercises
Prior to any bout of exercise, you should always warm-up. A proper warm-up should consist of 10-15 minutes of moderate intensity activity which involves all major muscle groups. While in Phase II Cardiac Rehab., you will most likely do warm-up exercises with your classmates. When you exercise on your own at home, you do not necessarily have to do all of the exercises that we do during the group warm-up in Cardiac Rehab. Even if you just walk or bike slower for the first 10-15 minutes that would be enough. The warm-up is designed to gradually increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
What is cardiovascular exercise?
- aerobic in nature
- uses large muscle groups
- i.e. hiking, swimming, walking, etc.
How often should you engage in cardiovascular exercise?
- 3 x per week initially
- Eventually increase your frequency to include most or all days of the week
How long should you engage in cardiovascular exercise?
- 20-60 mins. of continuous exercise
How hard should cardiovascular exercise be?
- You should try to exercise within your target heart rate (THR)
- You should be able to carry on a conversation during cardiovascular exercise (i.e. "talk test")
- You should feel like you are working between an 11-13 on the RPE scale
What is muscular fitness?
- Exercises which use resistance in the form of either weights, therabands, balls, etc. in order to improve muscular strength and/or endurance
How often should you work on your muscular fitness?
- 2-3 days per week
- Allow 48 hours of rest between bouts of resistance training
How hard should your muscular fitness routine be?
- 1-2 sets of 8-12 repetitions using all the major muscle groups
- Always remember to exhale on exertion when doing resistance training and never hold your breath!
After any bout of exercise, you should always cool-down. A proper cool-down should consist of 10-15 minutes of lower intensity activity, which involves stretching all of the major muscle groups from head to toe. It is important to hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds, not to bounce or use jerky movements during stretching, and to stretch to the point of mild discomfort, not pain! The cool-down period is the time when you should be focusing on improving your flexibility. Also, through cool-down, your blood pressure and heart rate should gradually decrease to within resting values.
- in case you do not have a heart monitor handy
- to make sure you are exercising within your target heart rate at home
- locate your pulse with the tips of your first two fingers. Try the thumb side of your wrist or to the left or right of
your Adam's apple
- after you can feel each separate beat plainly, begin counting the beats
- use the second hand on a watch or clock to count the number of beats you feel for a full minute (60 seconds).
Count as follows: "zero, one, two, three, etc." until 1 minute passes
- after you feel more confident at checking your pulse, just count the number of beats you feel within a 10 second interval. Multiply that number by 6. This will give you your heart rate measured in beats per minute
Beats/ 10 seconds
Heart Rate; beats/minute