Exercise Program Development

No matter whether you are a patient diagnosed with one or several lifestyle diseases, or someone simply looking to get healthier by starting an exercise program, having an health professional develop your exercise program can make the difference between achieving your goals, and developing or exacerbating a medical condition.

Exercising incorrectly: (i.e.) beyond your cardio-respiratory capacity, exercising too intensely, exercising too aggressively, exercising for too long, can lead to injury, even illness.

If the goal of exercise is to gain flexibility, to gain strength, improve endurance, balance, and mobility and NOT develop health issues, then learning how to read and understand your body and knowing how to start to exercise is critical to ending up with health.

There is a wrong way and a right way to exercise.

To exercise correctly, you need to know how to exert yourself while exercising and how to measure how you are exerting yourself: (i.e.) by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), heart rate, and by respiratory rate.

To exercise correctly, you need to know at what speed, with what load, and within what range of motion.


Phys Sportsmed. 2011 Sep;39(3):172-8. doi: 10.3810/psm.2011.09.1933. Chronic exercise preserves lean muscle mass in masters athletes. Wroblewski AP1, Amati F, Smiley MA, Goodpaster B, Wright V.

To exercise correctly, you need an individualized program which takes into consideration your health, your skill level, your current capacity, so that you know how often and for how long to exercise so that you end up with health and healthy, not injured or ill.

It is especially important for those with a medical condition to work with a health professional as hi-risk Hi-Intensity Interval Training [HIIT] programs such as CrossFit, Tabata, Spinning and Bootcamps predominate the fitness industry.  You cannot depend on a trainer or coach to set appropriate limits when you have a medical condition. Personal trainers and coaches may have experience, but they do not have the background nor expertise to consider nor integrate the risks associated with a medical diagnosis into exercise program development.

To build an appropriate exercise program, you need to start at the beginning: with a review of medical history, an assessment of functional range of motion/flexibility, dynamic core strength, and most importantly breathing.  If you are training for a specific event (e.g. 5k run, sprint triathlon, swim meet), then a physiological test may be necessary to provide specific and safe exertion levels for training.

There is a right way and a wrong way to exercise.  Do it right, you get healthy.  Do it wrong, and you will get unhealthy, be it injury or illness.

Links to Related Articles:

  1. Relationship Between Excess Exercise and Cardiovascular Deaths in Heart Attack Survivors
  2. Exercise and Mortality Reduction: Recurring Reverse J- or U-Curves
  3. Exercise for Health & Longevity vs Peak Performance: Different Regimens for Different Goals
  4. Exercise, Over-Indulgence, and Atrial Fibrillation
  5. Exercise, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, and the Immune System
  6. Association Between Physical Function, Lifestyle, and Exercise in Health, Aging and Body Composition
  7. What Exercise Is Best for Your Brain?
  8. Exercise Preserves Lean Muscle Mass in Masters Athletes
  9. Two Activities, When Combined, Reduced Depression by 40%
  10. The Decade of Transition: Training in your 50s to set the tone of your 60s, 70s and beyond
  11. Canadian health.gc guidelines for exercise
  12. Canadian health.gc guidelines for diet and calorie recommendations
  13. US health.gov website with physical activity and diet and calorie recommendations
  14. Optimum Amount of Exercise for Heart Health
  15. Lifting Weights Cuts Down On Early Death by 46%
  16. Cyclist Dies During Dirty Kanza from a Heart Attack
  17. Ablation – not a cure-all for heart arrythmias: “The Haywire Heart”