Aerobic Exercise: Getting it Just Right


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend “adults engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on 5 days per week.” There are two words that need explanation: “moderate” and “engage”.

Moderate: The guidelines state the exercise should be “hard” to do. When you’re in the midst of exercising, if someone asks you how difficult the exercise is at the moment, you’d respond, “Hard”. Because Welcyon frequently has members who have not exercised for several years, our protocols suggest a slightly lower difficulty, preferring “fairly light” to “somewhat hard” exercise intensities. If you are a member who has no significant health issues and have demonstrated a good tolerance to aerobic exercise, you can increase your intensity to a “hard” level.

Welcyon members doing aerobic exercise

Physiologically, “moderate” varies from one person to another because although two people may be the same age, their degree of health can be different. For example, two 71-year-old people can exercise at “moderate” levels with different results; the first person’s heart may beat 107 times per minute while the other person’s heart rate is 138 beats per minute. Therefore, Welcyon provides heart rate charts that provide an exercise heart rate range based upon your age and your heart rate at rest. For example, to exercise at a moderate level, a 69-year-old with a resting heart rate of 64 should keep his/her heart rate between 104 and 130 beats per minute during the exercise.

To make it easy for you, all of the aerobic exercise (and strength exercise) machines have built-in heart rate monitor sensors. You can purchase and wear a heart rate monitor and a chest strap (relatively inexpensive). The Welcyon exercise machines will continually display your heart rate. The monitors are simple and comfortable to wear and can be easily and quickly laundered by hand.

Engage: “Engage” means participating in any physical exercise or activity challenging enough to increase your heart rate to your target range, and/or your appropriate rating of how difficult it is to perform that activity. Do what you enjoy. If you find aerobic exercise boring and arduous, research shows that keeping your mind on something else during exercise results in people exercising longer and harder than they would without being preoccupied. Welcyon provides televisions and aerobic exercise machines with simulators to help distract your mind a bit.

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Claims of increased strength are based on an analysis of 716 members who exercised for two years. Results will vary based on each individual’s level of participation. Wellness claims are based on evidence in health and exercise science literature.
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