Examples of exercises and level of intensity

Common physical activities classified as light, moderate or vigorous intensity

Reference: American College of Sports Medicine. (2014). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (9th ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

4. Exercise Safety Tips

· Warm-up and cool down:

A warm-up is designed to get your body ready for exercise and bring blood flow to your muscles. Warming-up may also help reduce muscle soreness after exercise and decrease your risk of injury.

Cool down allows your body to gradually recover to a normal physical state. It allows for your heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal resting values. A cool down, should involve exercises that are performed at a lower intensity (I.e. easier than the exercise component).

· Pace yourself and perform exercises you feel comfortable doing:

It is important to know your limits and start slow. Progressively increase your intensity (light > moderate> vigorous) and duration of exercise. Exercise progression does not follow a linear pattern. Sometimes, you may have to decrease the intensity which is normal.

· Listen to your body:

Exercise should not be painful. If you are feeling any pain or abnormal symptoms, we recommend you stop the exercise or decrease the number of repetitions. Delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal response to exercise. This may last 12-48 hours post exercise. However, if any pain persists or increases for more than one to two weeks, you should contact your doctor for more advice.

· Stay hydrated:

 It is important to hydrate prior, during and after exercise. Your body releases liquids through sweat, therefore, hydration is key.

· Be aware of the weather:

Be mindful when exercising in extreme heat or cold weather. You may need to take more breaks and adjust accordingly. We recommend finding a shaded area, wearing a hat, and drinking water when exercising in hot weather. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, muscle cramps, or palpitations. Stop exercising if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above.

 As for exercising in cold weather, we recommend layering in sweat wicking clothing and avoid wearing cotton fabrics. Sweat wicking fabric (synthetic fabric) will pull the sweat from your skin to the clothing and back to the environment. This will allow your body to naturally regulate its’ body temperature. Cotton fabric will remain wet if you sweat, and thus will maintain the moisture on your skin.

· Proper positioning:

Make sure to perform the exercises with good posture and form. Read the descriptions to the exercises to provide you with more guidance as to how the exercises should be performed.

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