The heart is like any other muscle - it needs to work out to stay strong and healthy. Regular exercise is good for your overall well-being. A minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise is recommended.
This phase helps you move from resting to activity. A warm-up reduces the stress placed on your heart and muscles. This helps to slowly increase breathing, heart rate and body temperature. It also aids to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. This includes:
For the best effects on your muscles and cardiovascular system, your warm-up should last approximately 15 minutes in duration.
This phase follows the warm-up. For the best results, remember these four important points in your conditioning phase:
How often you need to exercise. You should exercise on most days of the week.
How vigorous you need to exercise. You should exercise at a moderate intensity - enough to increase your heart rate and breathing.
Monitor your heart rate closely and modify the activity appropriately to a level in which you can carry on a conversation or speak clearly while exercising (Talk Test). This is a general rule of thumb to help you determine if an activity is too strenuous or too easy for you. You can use your Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale provided by your Physical Therapist when exercising.
How long you need to exercise. You should exercise 30 to 40 minutes continuously, or 10 minute increments to equal 30 to 40 minutes throughout the day.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, your heart, lungs and muscles will need to work up to your exercise duration. Begin with shorter bouts of exercise, about 15 minutes or so, every other day. Progress by three to five minute increments per week, until you reach your goal of 30 to 40 minutes on most days.
This last phase allows your body to recover from the conditioning phase. Heart rate and blood pressure will return to near resting values. Cool down does not mean sit down. You should also not stand still or lie down directly after exercise. This may cause you to feel dizzy, light-headed or have palpitations.
Similar to the warm-up phase, the cool-down should last approximately 10 minutes for best results.
Make short-term goals. Big change does not come overnight. With time, you will see you have improved and made strides toward your target exercise goal.
Find an activity that fits into your schedule
Keep an exercise record
Exercise should be fun
Make exercise a habit
Make exercise time a family fun time
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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