To achieve healthy weight loss, an individual’s energy output (i.e. energy used to exercise) must exceed their energy input (i.e. energy from food). In other words, a combination of increasing physical activity levels whilst modifying dietary habits will be the most beneficial method for decreasing body weight. It is recommended that an individual should aim to lose 0.5-1kg per week with the overall aim to lose 10% of total body weight over 6 months.

Aerobic (or cardiorespiratory) exercise is defined as any movement which uses most of your body’s muscles for a sustained period. This type of exercise is important to improve your fitness and overall health, assist with weight loss and management and reduce your risk of chronic disease. It is recommended that Australian adults wishing to lose weight perform 250-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week (i.e. 30-60 minutes on most days of the week).

The best way to increase your aerobic exercise levels is to start small and gradually increase the overall duration and intensity of your weekly exercise. Use the exercise log below to assist you in gradually increasing your weekly exercise levels.

Type of exercise: Aerobic activities include but are not limited to –

 

  • Walking
  • Swimming (water aerobics / hydrotherapy, lap swimming)
  • Tai chi, Yoga, Pilates (mostly for balance / stability and brain stimulation)
  • Social sport – e.g. tennis, lawn bowls, table tennis
  • Cycling (e.g. stationary bike)
  • Housework – e.g. gardening, vacuuming
  • Dancing

Intensity / Effort of exercise: The national guidelines recommend performing exercise at a moderate-vigorous intensity. We like to use the Rate of Perceived Exertion (or RPE) scale to help you determine that you are exercising at the correct amount of effort. Aim to perform your aerobic exercise at an RPE of 5-7 out of 10 (slightly puffing but still able to have a conversation).

1 = no effort at all (e.g. sitting down, sleeping)

2

3 = light intensity – no changes in breathing from rest

4

5 = moderate intensity – puffing but able to still hold a conversation (IDEAL)

6 = moderate intensity – slightly more puffing but able to still hold a conversation (IDEAL)

7 = vigorous intensity – puffing, able to speak phrases but not conversations

8 = vigorous intensity – puffing, unable to speak

9

10 = maximum effort possible (e.g. your hardest effort)

 

Duration of exercise: Start with small bouts of activity and slowly increase the duration of each bout. It is recommended that you perform at least 10 minutes in a single bout, but it can be as long as 30-60 minutes. Be guided by your limitations and only do as much as you feel you can.

 

Incidental exercise: Incidental exercise is any physical activity that is integrated into everyday tasks (i.e. not planned). This type of exercise is useful in increasing physical activity levels when you are short on time and resources. Examples of incidental activity include:

  • Parking further away from the shopping centre
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift / escalators
  • Standing up and walking around if you are sitting for prolonged periods (i.e. every 10-20 minutes)
  • Taking the longer walking route (i.e. to your car)
  • Performing 1-2 exercises in your free-time (e.g. waiting for the kettle to boil, during TV ad breaks, waiting for someone to arrive etc.)
  • Don’t use the remote for your TV get up and change the channel

 

EXERCISE LOG How to use:

1.     In the corresponding day, write down the duration and intensity (in RPE) of any aerobic activity you perform for 10 minutes or more that makes you mildly huff and puff

2.     Try to be physically active on most days of the week.

3.     If you do not perform any exercise on a given day, leave the box blank.

4.     Use the example for assistance.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Example

Goal: 60 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Duration: 10 minutes

 

RPE: 5

Duration:

25 minutes

 

RPE: 5

Duration: 10 minutes

 

RPE: 5

Duration:

20 minutes

 

RPE: 6

Week 1

Date:

Goal: 60 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 2

Date:

Goal: 80 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 3

Date:

Goal: 100 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 4

Date:

Goal: 120 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 5

Date:

Goal: 140 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 6

Date:

Goal: 180 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

 

Week 7

Date:

Goal: 200 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 8

Date:

Goal: 220 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 9

Date:

Goal: 250 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

Week 10

Date:

Goal: 250 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic exercise

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 3624 2185 to speak to one of our exercise physiologists.