Exercises to get your
heart rate rising!
Aerobic exercise describes any exercise that uses your arms and legs for a continuous period of time such as walking, cycling, swimming or a cardio exercise class. Aerobic exercise strengthens our heart and lungs. This type of exercise has consistently been shown to positively affect our cardiovascular health; improving blood pressure, blood sugar control, cholesterol levels and body weight. It is also associated with a whole host of other health benefits including a significant reduction in the risk of bowel and breast cancer.
In order to avail of these health outcomes it is important that you adhere to what we refer to in exercise as the FITT guidelines:
Frequency (How many days per week do I need to engage in this type of exercise)
Intensity (How hard do I need to be working when I’m exercising)
Time (How long should I exercise for)
30-60 minutes per session. This is a target. If you are currently inactive, begin with 10 minutes and build up.
Type (Examples of aerobic exercise)
Regular, purposeful exercise that involves major muscle groups and is continuous and rhythmic in nature (i.e. walking, cycling).
These guidelines tell you how many days a week you should be doing aerobic exercise and also how long each aerobic session should last. Most importantly the guidelines state that your aerobic exercise should be of a moderate intensity. A rule of thumb is that you can say a sentence but perhaps not engage in a full conversation when you are completing your aerobic exercise.
The 30-60 minutes duration of an aerobic session does not include a warm up and cool down. These are important components of your aerobic exercise session. You should start slow and gradually build up the intensity of the warm up phase to ensure your heart and muscles are fully prepared for the main conditioning phase (moderate intensity). Similarly, it is very important to cool down after the conditioning phase. This involves gradually reducing the intensity of your efforts until your breathing and heart rate are almost at a pre-exercise level. See the above diagram for guidance on timings and intensities for a full aerobic exercise session.
Disclaimer for online videos: Performing these exercises is at your own risk. Croí cannot be held responsible or liable for any injury or harm incurred while exercising using the online resources provided on our website. Those unaccustomed to exercise or with special health considerations should consult their medical practitioner before performing any exercise.