DID YOU KNOW...
By: John Sawdon Director of Education & Special Projects, Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada
This is the third article outlining the benefits of Aerobics and Resistance training in managing and preventing cardiovascular disease. We have explored the research that contributes to the literature on the benefits of physical exercise along with benefits of aerobic and resistance training. This article will now provide you with the means to both understand and establish the intensity level for aerobics and resistance training. I have also provided access to excellent exercise guidebooks that will help you design your individual program along with completing a medical questionnaire should you need this in getting an exercise prescription from your Doctor.
How much exercise should I do?
Most recommendations for exercise are for a minimum of 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise daily and if just starting out doing increments of ten minutes three times a day. The American College for Sports Medicine, the Canadian Society for Exercise Professionals (CSEP) and the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (3) all recommend that adults between 18 to 64 years should accumulate 30 to 60 minutes daily for a cumulative total of 150 minutes a week. For those committed to interval training participants could try walking at a rate of 3.5 miles per hour for five minutes and then increasing to 3.8 miles per hour for three minutes and then back to 3.5 miles for five minutes. The recommendation is for 20 to 60 minutes a day of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for a cumulative total of 75 to 150 minutes a week.
Drawing on the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association’s “Exercise Is Medicine” prescription using the FITT pro model, we encourage you to use these guidelines in determining how often and how intensely you should engage in exercise as follows:
F stands for Frequency - The recommendation is to exercise Five days a week
I stand for Intensity - The recommendation is moderate to vigorous intensity. Heart rate should reach 50 to 70% of recommended maximum rate for your age. (The maximum predicted heart rate /MPHR = 220 minus your age)
T stands for Type of exercise - Any exercise that works the large muscle group, increases your heart rate and causes light perspiration is the goal. A good regime or schedule includes aerobics 3 to 5 days a week, (brisk walking, jogging, cycling, treadmill, swimming and/or aqua fit) as well as 2 to 3 days of resistance exercise or whole body strength training per week.
T stands for Time - The recommendation is 30 minutes a day. The Canadian recommendation for moderate to vigorous exercise is 150 minutes a week.
Pro stands for progression - If your goal is a 10-minute session three times a day for a cumulative total of 30 minutes a day, do that for one week. Once you have achieved this goal then increase your sessions to 15 minutes three times a day for five days or 225 minutes a week.
Identifying your Ideal Rate of Intensity and Heart Rate during aerobic and resistance training
Resistance Training for Beginners
Step 2: Every resistance program should be a part of a larger physical fitness program. Most programs should ideally include aerobic training, flexibility and balance, which is scheduled from three days a week to ideally five days a week or 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous fitness activity in meeting the national Guidelines for fitness activity. If you have led a sedentary lifestyle, your goals may be more modest and dictated by your Doctor or Fitness Instructor. This could include starting with ten minutes of exercise at a time, 3 times a day for up to 30 minutes a day. Initially this could be three days a week progressing up to five days in meeting the National Guidelines. Resistance training should include planned activities for two days a week allowing for 48 hours between exercise sessions to let your muscles heal and grow. Your activities should strengthen the major muscle groups of your body.
Step 3: A typical beginner’s strength training program includes:
Step 4: Building upon your increased capacity by enhancing your resistance-training program:
Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology CSEP has produced a wonderful informational guide to help you begin to plan your aerobic exercise and resistance-training program. This guide is available for download and offers a planning sheet within the guide to help you plan your exercise program and to set goals that will assist you to feel better and live longer. http://www.csep.ca/en/guidelines/get-the-guidelines
Remember to see your family Doctor before you begin exercising. A helpful tool to assist you with this conversation is the Health Questionnaire developed by Sports Medicine Australia, which you can download and complete before your appointment.
The articles, on the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada website, are presented with the understanding that the Foundation is providing information only and not rendering medical advice. Please check with your family physician, specialist or health care professional before implementing any of the ideas expressed in these articles.