Step 1: Your Personal Benefits of Exercise
A: KNOWING WHY YOU EXERCISE IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN AND STICKING TO IT.
Review these possible benefits of exercise then indicate those that are important to you. Be sure these are the real reasons you want to exercise. You are more likely to make long-term changes when the motivation comes from within you.
Do you believe regular physical activity will help you…
|Strongly disagree||Strongly sagree|
|Lack of time due to family or social obligations and/or work responsibilities||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your heart health by: reducing blood pressure? improving cholesterol levels? lowering triglycerides? helping to prevent or control diabetes?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and some cancers?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… reduce your risk of dying?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… increase your energy?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your fitness level?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your muscular strength and endurance?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your flexibility, agility and coordination?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your appearance?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your balance?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… help manage your weight?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… help reduce cravings for cigarettes?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… strengthen your bones?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… perform your job better?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… help manage your stress?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your sleep and relaxation?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… reduce your feelings of anxiety and/or depression?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… provide a sense of well being?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… feel a sense of achievement?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… improve your self-esteem?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… meet new people?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… feel less bored?||1||2||3||4||5|
|… have fun?||1||2||3||4||5|
B: LIST THE TOP THREE REASONS WHY EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU:
The longer you are active, the more benefits you will enjoy. The more benefits you enjoy, the more likely you are to stay active for a lifetime.
Step 2: Possible Barriers to Exercise
A: THERE MAY BE SOME REASONS WHICH MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO PERFORM EXERCISE REGULARLY.
Indicate which of the following factors may be a problem or barrier to increasing your level of physical activity. Be honest in your answers.
|No problem||Major problem|
|Lack of time due to family or social obligations and/or work responsibilities||1||2||3||4||5|
|Travel (work or vacation)||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of interest||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of enjoyment/fun||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of motivation||1||2||3||4||5|
|No access to exercise equipment||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of energy||1||2||3||4||5|
|Ongoing medical issues/acute illness||1||2||3||4||5|
|Joint or muscle problems/injuries||1||2||3||4||5|
|Fear of injury||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of knowledge about exercise||1||2||3||4||5|
|Lack of companionship||1||2||3||4||5|
|Self-conscious about abilities||1||2||3||4||5|
|Self-conscious about how I look during exercise||1||2||3||4||5|
B: WRITE DOWN THE BARRIERS IDENTIFIED ABOVE WHICH MAY PREVENT YOU FROM EXERCISING REGULARLY AND THINK OF WAYS TO OVERCOME EACH ONE.
|BARRIERS OR PROBLEMS||WAYS TO OVERCOME BARRIERS|
|Example: I’m too tired to exercise.||Start at an easy pace, exercise first thing in the morning.|
Step 3: Your Exercise Habits
It is often helpful to look back at physical activities you have done in the past to help you plan for the future.
Let us start with activities you were able to maintain for a period of time. Please list them below and indicate why you think they worked for you.
|PAST SUCCESSFUL ACTIVITIES||REASON WHY I WAS USUCCESSFUL|
|Example: Swim Class.||I liked the group setting.|
You can also learn from activities which did not work for you. Please list them below and indicate why you think these activities were not successful. If you plan to try these activities again, it will be important to find solutions to the barriers which prevented you from continuing them long-term.
|PAST UNSUCCESSFUL ACTIVITIES||REASON WHY I WAS UNSUCCESSFUL|
|Example: Walking outside.||I did not feel safe walking alone.|
Now consider your physical activity during the last month and think about how often, how long and how hard you have been exercising.
Let us compare your current physical activity level to the target guidelines previously mentioned.
|ASSESSMENT||YOUR RESULT||RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES||MEETING GUIDELINE?
(YES OR NO)
|Number of days per week you exercise||Five or more days per week|
|Number of minutes of exercise per session||30 minutes or more per day|
|At what intensity?||moderate or vigorous intensity|
Do not worry if you do not currently meet the guidelines. One of the goals of cardiac rehabilitation is to help you get there and stay active.
Step 4: Finding a Place to Exercise
When choosing a place to exercise, it is important to choose a location that is easy for you to access and that fits well into your regular routine. It is also important to find a place where you will feel safe. The right place to exercise means different things for different people but finding the right one for you is important to your long-term success.
Please answer the following questions by circling the correct answer.
Do you currently exercise only outside?
|Do you feel safe walking in your neighbourhood?||Yes/No|
|Will you exercise outside in poor weather?||Yes/No|
|Do you have home exercise equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine, elliptical, etc.)?||Yes/No|
|Are you a member of an exercise facility?||Yes/No|
|If not, do you intend on becoming a member at an exercise facility?||Yes/No/Maybe|
|Do you have access to another indoor place to exercise (mall, school, arena, community center, etc.)?||Yes/No|
Exercise Options in the Community
Here are some possible places to exercise.
- Convenient, allowing you to fit exercise inside while doing something else such as watching TV, listening to music or even supervising children.
- If you prefer independent exercise, this is an excellent choice.
- Usually includes the use of stationary exercise equipment or exercise videos. If you are interested in purchasing equipment for home, please refer to the guide on page 30.
Malls or Schools
- Free or low cost.
- Safe and climate-controlled setting for you to walk.
- Independent or group options available.
- You may need to drive to get there. Is this always possible?
Fitness Club, Recreation Centre, Community Pool
- Group/class settings, independent exercise, or both.
- Usually offers a greater variety of options.
- An exercise leader or personal trainer may be able to help you implement your program and incorporate the guidelines given to you by the Heart Institute.
- Often requires a membership fee.
- Is it close to you? If you need to drive to get there, will this always be possible?
- Do the hours suit you?
- Streets or local paths and trails.
- Allows for different activities (walking, cycling, cross-country skiing, etc.).
- Exercise in a group (a club or group of friends) or independently.
- Is it safe at the time of day you would like to exercise?
- Will you exercise here year round?
- Air quality may be a consideration.
- Provides a more structured place to walk outdoors.
- May only be available when schools are closed.
Outdoor Walking Clubs
- If you prefer a group setting, these can be enjoyable and motivating.
HEART WISE EXERCISE
Heart Wise Exercise is a program designed to help identify exercise facilities, programs, and classes which are safe and appropriate for people with heart problems and other chronic conditions.
Each Heart Wise Exercise agency must complete the training program through the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and meet specific criteria before being designated as a Heart Wise program. This program ideally works along with your formal cardiac rehabilitation.
Heart Wise Exercise is available in Ottawa and throughout the Eastern Ontario region, as well as elsewhere in Ontario. These designated programs are offered in a variety of facilities including fitness centres, high schools, and shopping malls. There is no cost above the usual enrolment fee for any facility, and there are several free programs, such as walking programs and exercise classes.
For more information or for assistance in locating a program please contact us at the number or email listed above. Please note the website has an interactive map to help you locate programs near you (select the locations tab, then your area, then find locations). It also has a list of free walking programs (select the locations tab, then your area, then resources).
You can also look at a list of other community resources at pwc.ottawaheart.ca/care/find-resources-your-community
Step 5: Your Personal Exercise Plan
When you think about exercise for the whole year, it may be necessary to have a different exercise plan for the summer and the winter months. In our region, because of our hot summers and variable conditions in the winter, many people need to have a plan for indoor exercise.
Consider your plan of exercise for summer and winter.
ACTIVITIES/PLACES FOR SUMMER
ACTIVITIES/PLACES FOR WINTER
Example: walk in my neighbourhood.
Example: walk at the local mall.
Please see seasonal considerations.
It is best to build exercise into your daily routine. Think of your exercise session as an important appointment or date you would not miss or cancel. Make a goal for your first week. For example, it could be to walk for 20 minutes three times per week in the afternoons around your neighbourhood.
My goal for this week is:
Now use the grid below to plan your own personal schedule for the next week to help achieve this goal.
|DAY||WHEN (TIME OF DAY)||WHAT (TYPE OF EXERCISE)||WHERE||DURATION|
|Total number of minutes for the week||minutes|
Once you have successfully met your Week 1 goal, use the grid again for Week 2. As you continue to exercise, you will be able to achieve more and more. Think about what exercise goals you would like to achieve by three months.
My three-month exercise goals are:
My long term exercise goals are:
Visualize how you will feel once you have reached your goals.