How to Begin your Exercise Program

How To Begin Your Fitness Program

When beginning your exercise program it is best to start with the Beginner program, especially if you are new to exercise. The Beginner program offers a way to connect and work with foundational movements. This program will lead you effectively and safely into more dynamic movement patterns outlined in the Intermediate and Advanced programs.

Within each program, on occasion you will be offered a progression exercise that can be used when its predecessor is mastered. These progression exercises are labeled with a progression.

It is suggested to complete your Fitness Program anywhere from three to four times a week until the exercises are mastered (approximately two to four weeks). Upon mastery, continue on to the following programs. These programs can be done at home, while traveling and do not require much space.

Each program will also offer suggestions for Cardiovascular fitness training and Other HCM-friendly exercise and lifestyle activities.

Each Program will offer an example on how to incorporate your Fitness Program and Cardiovascular training into your weekly schedule.

IMPORTANT SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS:

It is of great importance before you start your HCM Fitness program to consider the following:

HCM Heart Rate Considerations:

A simple rule of thumb when considering your optimal exercising heart rate range is that you are able to talk not sing while exercising.

Track your Heart rate with a monitor. Consult with your physician to determine your optimal exercising target heart rate range.

Click here to review heart rate monitor options

When in doubt, discuss suitable options with your physician. If you develop shortness of breath, chest pain or lightheadedness with any of these activities, STOP immediately.

Other Safety Considerations:

Do not exercise in extreme environmental conditions such as heat, cold or high humidity.

Ensure you stay well-hydrated before, during and after exercise.

Avoid recreational sports where participation is intense and/or requires short bursts of exertion.

Keep your exercise program under 60 minutes. A high volume of exercise can increase the fight or flight response.

ICD Safety Considerations:

For those with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibulator (ICD)  it’s important to avoid activities that could potentially damage the device.  You will find “Alternative Exercise Suggestions for Patients with an ICD” listed within each exercise.  These tips will help guide you to modify, avoid or replace each exercise.

A general rule of thumb is to avoid exercises on the same side of the ICD, that bring the arm over head or the arm out laterally at shoulder level extending behind the shoulder.

IF YOU EXPERIENCE PAIN OR DISCOMFORT WITH EXERCISE

If you experience pain and/or muscular discomfort with this program, consult your physician to rule out any heart health concerns. Consulting with a physiotherapist or chiropractic doctor thereafter, could help with diagnosis and elevate muscular discomfort. Consulting a practitioner who is knowledgeable in exercise prescription is optimal.

CUSTOMIZING YOUR FITNESS PROGRAM

The programs here are focused on developing optimal fitness for patients with HCM, while also working on developing Functional Fitness. That being said, you may be looking to move beyond these programs or are experiencing unique challenges that are preventing you from exercising comfortably. Challenges can arise from due to postural challenges, injuries, sitting for long periods of time and from the stresses of daily life. Either way, here are some additional resources to help you move ahead:

  • The book, “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” by Paul Chek is a comprehensive guide to Holistic Fitness and will help you further customize your workouts, enhance nutrition and optimize other healthy lifestyle considerations.
  • If you live in the Toronto area, you can consult with one of the highly skilled fitness practitioners at Fusion Health Studio. Fusion’s trainers are trained in the art of postural correction and developing safe and effective Functional Fitness. Fusion also offer small group classes in Cardiac Care and Functional Fitness.
  • For other highly skilled fitness professionals, consult with a CHEK Practitioner, who will find the correct exercise prescription for you. To find a CHEK Practitioner in your area: http://www.chekconnect.com/app/findpractitioner

SUGGESTED FITNESS EQUIPMENT

The following items can be found in many fitness supply stores or on line. Consult the resource section for a list of suppliers.

  • 6-Inch Foam Roller
  • Bench or Chair
  • 5-20lbs Hand Weights – For easy storage try Power Blocks
  • Exercise band (light to heavy) – A good brand is “Can do” from Fitter First
  • Swiss Ball – If purchasing a Swiss Ball, ensure it’s a burst resistance (up to 1100lbs) Duraball from Fitter First is the best on the market
  • Exercise or thick Yoga Mat

Fitness Program Descriptions and Implementation Suggestions

(Approximately 28 mins to complete)

This program is designed to:

  • Be an introduction to a safe and effective fitness program designed for patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
  • Offer beginner level stretching, resistance training and relaxation techniques.
  • Introduce and help participants activate the “Core” musculature.
  • Instruct participants on how to isolate muscles so they can be integrated into more dynamic exercises as listed in the Intermediate and Advanced Programs.
  • Be used when fatigued to re-energize the body and mind.

Complete this fitness program anywhere from three to four times a week until the exercises are mastered (approximately two weeks). Upon completion, continue on to the Intermediate program.

BEGINNER FITNESS PROGRAM

Cardiovascular Fitness Component:

Add on 20 minutes of Cardiovascular Fitness as suggested here , two to three times a week.

Other HCM-friendly Exercise and Lifestyle Activities:

There are many ways to keep your heart healthy, lower stress levels and promote well-being.

Click here for a list of other HCM-Friendly Exercise and Lifestyle Activities that may be suitable.

Beginner Fitness Program Implementation Example:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Beginner HCM Fitness Program Belly Breathing (as outlined in the program) Beginner HCM Fitness Program with 20 mins of cardiovascular fitness 20 mins of cardiovascular fitness and Belly Breathing (as outlined in the program) Beginner HCM Fitness Belly Breathing (as outlined in the program) 20 mins of cardiovascular fitness

(Approximately 40 mins to complete)

This program is designed to:

• Be a progression from the Beginner Program.

• Offer more advanced and integrated stretching, functional resistance training and relaxation techniques.

• Prepare participants to engage in the Advanced Program.

• Improve Muscular Strength and Endurance and Cardiovascular Fitness.

Once you have mastered the Beginner Program, you are ready for the Intermediate Program. Here, you will integrate your foundational exercises into more complex and functional movement patterns. Complete this program three to five times per week for four to six weeks, mastering the basic exercises and their progressions. When confident, proceed to the Advanced Program.

INTERMEDIATE FITNESS PROGRAM

Cardiovascular Fitness Component:

Add on 20-30 minutes of Cardiovascular Fitness as suggested here, three times a week.

Other HCM Friendly Exercises and Lifestyle Activities:

There are many ways to keep your heart healthy, lower stress levels and promote wellbeing.

Click here for a list of other HCM-Friendly Exercise and Lifestyle Activities that may be suitable.

Intermediate Fitness Program Implementation Example:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Intermediate HCM Fitness Program Belly Breathing (as outlined in the program) Intermediate HCM Fitness Program with 20 mins of cardiovascular fitness 20 mins of cardiovascular fitness and Belly Breathing (as outlined in the program) Intermediate HCM Fitness Program Intermediate HCM Fitness Program 30 mins of cardiovascular fitness

(Approximately 60 mins to complete)

This program is not optimal for the beginner exerciser. Refer to previous programs if you are new to exercise. Even if you exercise frequently, complete the previous programs first to gain proper core stability and motor development control for the more complex and dynamic exercises in this program.

This program is designed to:

• Be a progression from the Intermediate Program into full Functional Movement Patterns.

• Offer more advanced and integrated stretching, resistance training and relaxation techniques.

• Improve Strength, Endurance and Cardiovascular Fitness.

This program will provide you with the opportunity to maximize your functional movement patterns and overall fitness. Complete this programs four to five times per week for six weeks.

ADVANCED FITNESS PROGRAM

Cardiovascular Fitness:

Add on 20-45 minutes of Cardiovascular Fitness as suggested here, three times a week.

Other HCM-Friendly Exercises and Lifestyle Activities:

There are many ways to keep your heart healthy, lower stress levels and promote well-being.

Click here for a list of other HCM-Friendly Exercise and Lifestyle Activities that may be suitable.

Advanced Fitness Program Implementation Example:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Advanced HCM Fitness Program 20-45 mins of Cardiovascular Fitness Advance HCM Fitness Program 20-45 mins of Cardiovascular Fitness Advanced HCM Fitness Program 20-45 mins of Cardiovascular Fitness and Belly Breathing Advanced HCM Fitness Program
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