Cardiovascular Exercise

Exercise for improving the functioning of the heart and lungs (cardiovascular system) is recommended for all individuals. Clearance by a physician should be obtained for individuals over the age of 35 or those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Exercise Intensity

The objective is to obtain a target heart rate between 60% and 85% of the maximum heart rate (220 minus age). Count heartbeats for 10 seconds as soon as you stop exercising and compare with the table below.


3 to 5 days per week. 5 days is recommended for exercise of lesser intensity and 3 days for exercise of greater intensity.

Type of Exercise

Continuous, rhythmic, large-muscle exercise helps to develop cardiovascular fitness. Examples: walking, jogging, running, cycling and swimming. Although not continuous, short court racquet sports (racquetball, handball and squash) can be appropriate if the rest interval is not prolonged.

(Heartbeat for10 seconds)
(Minutes per day)
Type of Exercise
15 – 1724 – 2720 – 45No restriction, unless you have a medical problem that prohibits it. Choose an activity you enjoy.
18 – 2924 – 2720 – 45Same as 15 – 17 age group.
30 – 3922 – 2620 – 45Almost every activity is okay. But, get your physicians specific approval for the more strenuous exercises.
50 – 5918 – 2420 – 30Start with a walking program before beginning demanding activities like running, basketball, handball or squash. Check with your physician before starting such activities. Otherwise, use less strenuous exercise (golfing, cycling or swimming). When necessary, give yourself an extra day to recover.
60 – 6917 – 2220 – 30Some individuals should avoid jogging, running and vigorous competitive sports. Walking, swimming and stationary cycling provide effective low-injury-risk exercise.
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