Aerobic Workout at Home

Aerobic Exercise

Exercises to get your heart rate rising!

Here is a video of a sample aerobic exercise session that includes a warm up, main phase and cool down.

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)

      • 5-7 days/week

Intensity (How hard do I need to be working when I’m exercising)

      • Moderate

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.

Need some help or have a question?

The Croí Health Team is here as always if you need support. Contact us by email at healthteam@croi.ie or call 091-544310.

See more home workout videos below!

Stretch at Home

Stretching

Increase your flexibility and range of motion

As well as requiring our muscles to be strong, we also need them to be supple and stretchy. Supple muscles are less likely to become injured and more likely to facilitate easier execution of activities of daily living such as bending, reaching, lifting and turning.

This is a much neglected type of exercise largely due to peoples’ perceptions that it does not do much. Yet it holds the key to enhancing our aerobic fitness and muscle strength as well as being a standalone type of exercise with its own unique set of physical outcomes listed above. Stretching exercises can help address any muscle imbalances that can occur over the years from poor posture or other bad habits such as excessive sedentary behaviour. This in turn optimises our efforts in the other two types of exercise  (Aerobic & Resistance).

For effective muscle stretching please follow the FITT guidelines below.

Frequency (How many days per week do I need to engage in stretching)

    • ≥2-3 days a week

Intensity (How hard do I need to be working when I’m stretching)

    • Stretch to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort

Time (How long should I hold each stretch for)

    • 10-30 seconds. For older adults (>65 years of age) holding a stretch for 30-60 seconds can give greater benefits

Type (Examples of stretching exercises)

    • Watch the video for a complete series of muscle stretching exercises for each of the major muscle groups.

To avoid injury, it is important that you do these stretches when your muscles are warm (i.e. at the end of an aerobic or muscle strengthening session). See pg. 7 of our Resistance Training at Home booklet for cool down stretches.

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.

Need some help or have a question?

The Croí Health Team is here as always if you need support. Contact us by email at healthteam@croi.ie or call 091-544310.

See more home workout videos below!

Resistance Training at Home

Exercises to help gain muscle strength

To begin strengthening your muscles you need to engage in resistance training. This involves performing a series of exercises where you lift a weight that you are unaccustomed to for a specific amount of repetitions. This type of training can provide significant functional benefits and improvements in overall health and well-being. These improvements include: increased bone density, improved muscle mass and joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased metabolism and improved cardiac function.

As with aerobic exercise there is a set FITT guideline to bring about the above physical outcomes.

Frequency (How many days per week do I need to engage in muscle strengthening exercise)

    • 2-3 days/week

Intensity (How hard do I need to be working when I’m doing my muscle strengthening exercise)

    • Moderate* intensity

Time (How long should a muscle strengthening session last for)

    • Approx. 30-40 minutes – complete 8-10 exercises per set and aim to complete 2-4 sets.

Type (Examples of muscle strengthening exercise)

*It is important that you perform your muscle strengthening exercises at a moderate intensity. In this instance, moderate intensity refers to the amount of times you can lift a weight during an exercise. Ideally you want to select a weight for each exercise that you can lift 12 times. If you can easily perform 15 repetitions of an exercise, the weight is low intensity and not enough of a challenge to strengthen your muscles. Likewise if you struggle to perform 8 repetitions, the weight is high intensity and not appropriate.  You can download our Resistance Training at home booklet which will explain this is a little more detail.

Please read page 8 of our Resistance Training at Home booklet for important general instructions for resistance training at home.

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.

Need some help or have a question?

The Croí Health Team is here as always if you need support. Contact us by email at healthteam@croi.ie or call 091-544310.

See more home workout videos below!