Warmup

The warm-up is the preparatory phase of the exercise session. A well-planned and properly executed warm-up improves exercise performance and maximises both the safety and effectiveness of the exercise session. Warm-ups should be at least 15 minutes' duration for cardiac rehabilitation (SIGN, 2002; ACPICR, 2003). This extended time prepares the cardiovascular system for the activity that follows. With this slow, gradual progression of effort, coronary circulation is enhanced (through vasodilation of the coronary arteries), thus

Exercise Leadership in Cardiac Rehabilitation. An Evidence-Based Approach. Edited by Morag Thow. Copyright 2006 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN 0-470-01971-9

reducing the risk of provoking ischaemia and/or arrhythmias. Certain patient groups benefit from an even longer warm-up of up to 20 minutes (e.g. heart transplant recipients, and people with angina).

Types of Exercise Used in a Warm-Up

• Pulse-raising

• Mobilising and preparatory stretching

• Skill rehearsal.

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