View Entire Collection
By Clinical Topic
By State Requirement
Faith Community Nursing
Future of Nursing Initiative
Regular physical activity can help you sleep better at night, strengthen your muscles and bones, lose weight, and have fun. It also can lessen the development and progression of chronic diseases and disabling conditions.
First, check with your healthcare provider to make sure you can safely increase your physical activity. If you're not used to getting much exercise, don't overdo it. Start slow with low-intensity exercise, such as walking, for a few minutes. Exercise should be gentle and comfortable, not painful. As you become more fit, you can exercise harder, more often, or for a longer time. Your goal should be to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, unless your healthcare provider recommends another goal for you.
Choose an activity you enjoy and plan a routine (a certain time of day and number of times per week) that suits your schedule. Your routine can include everyday activities, a structured exercise or sport, or a combination. You can get health benefits from brisk walking or household chores such as vacuuming or mowing the lawn, walking up stairs instead of taking elevators, walking or bicycling instead of driving short distances, getting off the bus a stop or two earlier, or parking your car farther away from building entrances. You can break up your 30 minutes of exercise into three 10-minute sessions per day.
Your 30 minutes should include moderate aerobic exercise (walking, running, swimming, bicycling), resistance training (lifting weights, yoga, push-ups, sit-ups), and stretching. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the heart. Resistance training increases muscle and bone strength. Stretching improves your flexibility and helps you avoid injury.
Start with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up (stretching, walking) and end with a 5-minute cool-down (stretching, walking), which lets your heart rate and breathing return to normal.
When doing moderate aerobic activity, your heart rate should fall within a "target heart rate" (THR) to get the most benefit from the activity. Your THR should be between 50% and 70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). To figure out your MHR, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're age 50, your MHR is 170 beats per minute:
220 - 50 = 170
To figure out your THR, multiply your MHR by 50% and 70%. For example, if you're 50:
170 x .50 = 85; 170 x .70 = 119
Using this example, your THR is between 85 and 119 beats per minute. When you're doing aerobic activity, stop periodically to take your pulse to see if your heart rate is within your THR.
To take your pulse, feel for the artery on your wrist in line with your thumb. Lightly press the tips of your index and middle fingers over the artery and count heartbeats for 30 seconds. Double this number to get your beats per minute. If your heartbeats aren't within your THR, try increasing the intensity of your physical activity.
* Don't exercise when you're sick or when weather is very hot, humid, or cold.
* Drink water before, during, and after physical activity, even if you don't feel thirsty.
* Call 911 if you feel lightheaded or dizzy during exercise, have trouble breathing, or experience pain in your chest, arms, throat, jaw, or back.
For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.
A practitioner's guide to necrotizing fasciitis
The Nurse Practitioner, 13April 2015
Expires: 4/30/2017 CE:2 $21.95
New drugs 2015, part 1
Nursing2015, April 2015
Expires: 4/30/2017 CE:3 $27.95
The Effect of a Safe Zone on Nurse Interruptions, Distractions, and Medication Administration Errors
Journal of Infusion Nursing, March/April 2015
Expires: 4/30/2017 CE:8 $60.00
More CE Articles
Subscribe to Recommended CE
Postoperative sternal wound infection
Nursing2015 Critical Care, March 2015
Free access will expire on May 25, 2015.
Relationship of Adverse Events and Support to RN Burnout
Journal of Nursing Care Quality, April/June 2015
Free access will expire on May 11, 2015.
Maximizing Nurse Practitioners' Contributions to Primary Care Through Organizational Changes
Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, April/June 2015
Free access will expire on May 11, 2015.
More Recommended Articles
Subscribe to Recommended Articles
Back to Top