Exercise advertisements often target simplified exercise routines and spot reduction. Some exercise advertisements sell the belief that one machine will work your entire body and give you the results you need. Some machines are good for cardiovascular conditioning; however, they may not be good for other reasons, such as joint or balance limitations. To establish a proper exercise routine, you need to follow a few basic guidelines.
Before you start an exercise program or routine, a thorough medical history and evaluation are recommended so you and your doctor can identify limitations on certain exercise movements. It is highly recommended that you receive proper instructions for performing these exercises before beginning your exercise routine or program. Anaerobic exercise is not recommended for some people with certain heart or orthopedic conditions. Discuss this with your doctor.
The two basic types of exercise include:
Aerobic exercise has three important parts:
For example: a 45-year old person’s maximum heart rate would be 220-45 or 175; the target heart rate range (60%-80% of maximum heart rate) would be from 105-140 beats per minute. Another way to determine the intensity of your activity is the Rated Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE).
Those with heart disease should discuss exercise with their physician. Some heart conditions may require a modified or supervised exercise program. Medications may have an effect on heart rate; therefore if you are taking any cardiac or blood pressure medications, ask your doctor if they have any impact on your target heart rate.
The American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines call for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity performed at moderate intensity (60%-80% maximum heart rate), either in one continuous period or in intervals of at least 20-minutes duration on most — preferably all — days of the week. This is the amount called for to reduce the risk of coronary disease. It is equivalent to briskly walking at least 1.5 miles per day or raking leaves for half an hour. For weight control, you may need to increase the amount of time you exercise to burn more calories.
Anaerobic exercise involves using free weights or machines to build muscle mass and tone.
A complete exercise program requires three components:
When setting goals, it is important to design a program that you can do in a schedule that you will definitely keep. Look at your calendar and schedule in your exercise sessions. You do not have to do all three components of the exercise program every day, but to lose weight the most important component will be aerobic conditioning. If you need to start by exercising in 10-minute increments, that's OK. Every week or so, your goal will be to increase the amount of time you exercise until you are exercising at least 30 minutes per session.
There are several ways to monitor your success:
A body composition test is a way to determine your current percentage of body fat. It is also a way to track progress during your exercise program. A body composition test is more accurate in determining your ideal body weight. The ideal range for females is 18 to 26% body fat. The ideal range for males is 12 to 17% body fat.
If you have any of the following symptoms while exercising, stop the activity and rest. If the symptoms do not go away, call your doctor:
Along with regular exercise, weight loss requires a dedicated effort to change your eating habits. Weight loss may require many strategies and support from a team of nutritionists or registered dietitians, exercise specialists, and peers. Ask your doctor to speak to a dietitian or exercise specialist if you need any assistance in planning your program. At Cleveland Clinic , call the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program at 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 49353. They can assist you in a monitored exercise program or exercise prescription.
To read the AHA exercise guidelines* in detail, see Circulation. October 2, 2001 and follow links to Science & Professional.
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The inclusion of links to other web sites does not imply any endorsement of the material on the web sites or any association with their operators*.
To make an appointment with an exercise specialist, a dietitian, or to join a cardiac rehabilitation program, contact Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation Section - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 04/29/2019