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 MaxSymptomsExamples
Very Light< 50Conversational, can singWalking, swimming
Light20 – 63ConversationaBrisk walking, dancing, table-tennis, golf, gardening
Moderate64 – 76Short sentences,
slight sweating
Brisk walking to light jog, tennis, cycling on hills
Hard77 – 93Severe breathlessness and sweatingFast 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)…

HR140 – 170136 – 165133 – 162130 – 157126 – 153122 – 149119 – 145115 – 140112 – 136109 – 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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