General exercise guidelines

  • All physical activity is important, however, there is more benefit with moderate-to-vigorous exercise for bouts of 10 minutes or more.
  • For most people, the goal is to accumulate 150-300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise per week, in addition to resistance training 2-4 times per week.
  • Cardio-based exercise includes large muscle groups, and causes a sustained increase in your heart rate for at least 10 minutes. Options for cardio-based exercise include: walking, cycling, using the elliptical, rowing, aerobic classes, using aerobic equipment, swimming and aqua fitness classes.
  • Resistance training is designed to improve strength and endurance of the working muscle groups. Options for resistance training include: dumbbells/hand weights, tubing, resistance bands, body weight exercises, and resistance training equipment.
  • For in-person cardiovascular rehab classes, we use resistance bands to complete resistance training. After speaking with your Exercise Therapist, you can purchase a band on the first day. If you have a resistance training band at home already, you can bring it to your exercise class instead of purchasing a new one. Your band should approximately be the length of your wingspan, and you should be able to complete 8 to 10 repetitions of the exercise using correct form, and would rate the exercise as “hard” or as a 15 on the RPE scale.

How to monitor your intensity

  • When it comes to exercise, monitoring your intensity is very important.
  • You can monitor your exercise intensity by checking your heart rate, and by using the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale.
  • To check your heart rate manually, follow these steps:
    • Place your middle and pointer finder on the thumb side of the wrist.
    • When you feel a pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds.
    • Multiple the number by 6 to determine your beats per minute.
  • Some individuals prefer technology-based options for checking their heart rate. These options are available online, at most box stores and fitness stores. You may also be able to download an application to your phone to check your heart rate. If you choose to do this, always read the terms and conditions of the application before downloading.
  • The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale can be found on your exercise diary, and is a scale from 6 to 20. Use the RPE scale to rate how difficult the resistance training felt, and how difficult the cardio-based exercise felt.

Exercise Diary

  • Each week, you will be asked to fill out an exercise dairy. The exercise diary can be downloaded from our website.
  • To complete the exercise diary, follow these steps:
  • Under the Date column, record the date of the day you exercise.
  • If you complete resistance training (RT), put a checkmark or X under the RT column. If you have not completed resistance training (RT), leave this box blank.
  • Report how difficult the resistance training (RT) was for you by indicating under the RPE column (the column to the right of the RT column). Use the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale to help you determine how difficult the resistance training felt. If you have not completed resistance training (RT), leave this box blank.
  • If you complete cardio-based exercise, such as walking, cycling, using the elliptical etc., write this under the Cardio column.
  • Record the distance you completed under the Distance column.
  • Record the minutes of cardio-based exercise under the Minutes column.
  • Record your resting, exercise, and cool down heart rate under the Heart Rate columns.
    • Your resting heart rate is your heart rate before you start exercising.
    • Your exercise heart rate is your heart rate during or at the very end of your exercise (before you cool down).
    • Your cool down heart rate is your heart rate after your cool down.
  • Record how difficult the cardio-based exercise was for you by indicating under the RPE column (the column to the right of the heart rate column).
  • If you have any comments, record them in the comment section.

For more information speak to your Exercise Therapist.