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Exercise Safely

The guidelines below can help protect you from exercise related injuries and also make being active more enjoyable.

  • Consult a doctor before starting on a vigorous exercise programme.
  • Begin slowly and gradually build up over several weeks as you get fitter:
    • Begin by alternating 2-3 minutes of exercise with 2-3 minutes of rest over 15 minutes.
    • Activity should be increased 2-3 minutes every week until total of 30 minutes is reached.
  • Always warm-up to prevent aches and pains later.
  • Always cool down by walking or doing stretches to avoid dizziness or feeling sick.
  • Slow down if you are too breathless to talk during exercise. (More info go to exercise capacity)
  • Stop immediately if you experience:
    • Discomfort
    • Pain
    • Dizziness
  • Dress in light, loose clothing and use comfortable, well-cushioned shoes.
  • Best time for exercise:
    • Early morning (before 9.30 a.m. in Malaysia)
    • Evening (after 6 p.m.)
  • Environment for exercise:
    • Flat surface.
    • Controlled temperature and humidity.
    • Shaded area.
    • Well lit.
  • Make sure you drink fluids before, during and after exercise to replace sweat loss.
  • Always do deep breathing exercise in between exercises.
  • If you are diabetic:
    • Carry some sweets in case of dizziness due to hypoglycemia which might happen.
    • Use comfortable, padded shoes and socks to protect your foot from injury.
    • Do not exercise with empty stomach or full stomach.
  • If you are hypertensive:
    • Stop exercise if you have dizziness, chest pain and breathlessness.
  • If you are obese:
    • Do not do exercise too aggressively and minimize high impact movements to avoid injury to your muscles and joints

Exercise Capacity

  • Talk Test: Slow down if you are too breathless to talk during exercise.
  • Calculating Target Heart Rate (THR):
220 – age x 60% and 90% of Heart Rate (HR)
e.g. If you are 70 years old
220 – 70 = 150
150 x 0.60 = 90
150 x 0.90 = 135
  • You should try to keep the heart rate between 90 and 135 beats per minute.
  • Consult your doctor if:
    • Your Resting Heart Rate is near or above your Target Heart Rate.
    • You are on any medication which can slow down your Heart Rate.
  • To feel for your heart rate, palpate the pulse at level of the wrist at the base of the thumb.
  • To calculate your Heart Rate, palpate and count the pulse for 60 seconds (1 minute).

For more information on Exercise Workload

Exercise Workload

A metabolic equivalent (METS) is defined as multiples of resting metabolic rate . Exercises performed at 2 METS requires double the resting metabolism, 3 METS requires triple the resting metabolism and so forth, The resting metabolic rate is measured as amount of oxygen consumed in a minute per kilogram of body mass, a measurement of energy used per kg body weight per minute in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. One MET is the energy expenditure when a person is at rest. This is equivalent to 3.5 kilocalories /kg/hour.

1 MET = resting VO2 (volume of oxygen used) which is approximately 3.5ml (oxygen) per kilogram (body weight) per minute. Resting VO2 (One MET) = 3.5 ml x kg x minutes.

For the purpose of calculating your energy expenditure during physical activity, the formula is:

Energy Expenditure (cals per minute )
= 0.0175 cals/kg/min. x MET x body weight (kg)
= calories per minute
= cals/min x 60 = calories expended

Below are examples of energy expenditure for various body weights and activities.

Estimated exercise energy (METs)/calorie (Kilocalorie/hour) expenditure:

METs
Activities
Weight(Kilograms)
40
50
60
70
1
  • Sitting on toilet
42 53 63 74
1.5
  • Bathing-sitting
  • Typing
63 79 95 110
2.0
  • Standing and getting ready for bed
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Grooming
  • Eating and
84 105 126 147
2.3
  • Ironing
97 121 145 169
2.5
  • Serving food, setting table (implied walking or standing)
105 131 158 184
3.0
  • Walking downstairs
  • Carrying small talking child
126 158 189 220
3.5
  • Home activities- Vacuum
  • Walking and carrying infant
147 184 220 257
3.8
  • Scrubbing floor
160 200 239 279
4.0
  • Care for elder/ Disabled adult
168 210 252 294
4.5
  • Jogging on a mini tramp
  • Washing and waxing car
189 236 284 330
5.0
  • Gardening- digging/spading
210 263 315 368
6.0
  • Cycling(leisure/slow/light)
  • Moving furniture
252 315 378 441
7.0
  • Jogging
  • Swimming-back stroke
294 368 441 5157
7.5
  • Carrying groceries upstairs
315 394 473 551
8.0
  • Cycling(moderate effort)
336 420 504 580
11.0
  • Swimming-breast stroke/butterfly stroke
462 578 693 809

 

Last Review : 26 April 2012
Writer : Sarkuna Devi
: Normah bt. Nordin
: Thillainathan a/l Krishnan
Reviewed : Dr. Mohmad bin Salleh