Goal Setting With Exercise - Why & How

Terms such as exercise and physical activity are used interchangeably. As outlined in a previous presentation, physical inactivity, because it is so bad for your health, is considered by many to be a separate disease!

Setting some basic goals helps us establish why we want to exercise and also how we want to exercise may keep us focused.

  • Aerobic Fitness
    • Heart and lung training
      • Moderate intensity (see below)
    • Health benefits – stamina
    • Weight loss / fat loss
  • Strength Gain
    • General strength
      • Day-to day function (e.g. climbing stairs)
    • Toning
    • Bulking – hypertrophy
  • Sports Performance
      • Sports specific goals
      • Speed and power
      • Tailor training and have a “cross-over effect”
        • e.g. aerobic fitness helps with tennis
  • Appearance – look good and feel good!!
    • Body weight
    • Muscle tone
    • Posture
    • “Event-specific” (e.g. wedding, summer)
    • “Body Sculpting”

2. Techniques For Exercising
– Aerobic And Resistance Training

To enjoy a health benefit – 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week (for those with stable medical conditions).

Exercise intensity refers to how hard your body is working during physical activity.

Aerobic Training
How hard should you exercise – the “intensity”…

Intensity % HR Max Symptoms Examples
Very Light < 50 Conversational, can sing Walking, swimming
Light 20 – 63 Conversationa Brisk walking, dancing, table-tennis, golf, gardening
Moderate 64 – 76 Short sentences,
slight sweating
Brisk walking to light jog, tennis, cycling on hills
Hard 77 – 93 Severe breathlessness and sweating Fast running, climbing stairs, wood-chopping

% HR Max refers to the percentage of one’s maximal heart rate.

Some common target heart rate ranges for each age group (moderate)…

Age 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65
HR 140 – 170 136 – 165 133 – 162 130 – 157 126 – 153 122 – 149 119 – 145 115 – 140 112 – 136 109 – 132

Resistance (Strength Training)

Strength ProgramPurposeExample
ToningCommence weights
Develop a base
Strength maintenance
 3 sets of 10-15 reps
3-4 times/week to start
Maintain at twice/week
HypertrophyBulking up appearance4 sets of 6-8 reps
Alternate days
“split” program
3 times/week/muscle group

3. Pitfalls & Cautionary Tips

  • Be instructed on correct technique
  • Build up your training and fitness base
  • “Core stability” exercises are foundational
  • Remember DOMS = “delayed onset muscle soreness”
    • Don’t worry unless >5 days!!
  • Develop muscle-memory
    • Muscular adaptation (up to 6-12 weeks)

Warning Signs

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising and seek medical help…

  • extreme breathlessness or breathing problems such as wheezing or coughing which persist;
  • chest pain or pressure;
  • extreme perspiration;
  • dizziness, fainting;
  • severe muscle or joint pain or cramps;
  • nausea;
  • or, extreme and long-lasting fatigue after exercising.

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