U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Exercise Equipment Utilization

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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

Why is this important?

  • Aerobic exercise equipment can facilitate weight loss and improve cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and flexibility.
  • Proper use of exercise equipment can improve the efficiency of an exercise program.
  • Computerized exercise equipment may have multiple display options including: work level, estimated energy expenditure (calories), preset workouts and time.
  • A pre-physical activity program screening and examination is recommended prior to beginning an exercise program if you have not exercised within the last 12 months.

Action steps:

  • All exercise machines and equipment should have instructions clearly labeled. on how to use; please read before starting with each machine.
  • Make sure there is adequate cross-ventilation (use fan or similar source of ventilation) when using stationary aerobic exercise equipment, to prevent overheating.
  • Water bottles should be readily available because sweat loss can be substantial.  Most equipment will provide holders for water bottles.
  • The path around all exercise equipment should be free of loose power cords and other tripping hazards.
  • Do not use defective or broken exercise equipment.
  • Consult your health care provider and/or certified exercise specialist regarding use of heart rate monitor or range. Remember, your patient’s perceived effort may be more important than heart rate.

Digital displays:

  • Most computerized exercise machines have the following displays: down arrow up arrow
    • Work level (speed and % grade, RPM, or relative work level)
    • Estimated energy expenditure in Calories
    • User-specified preset workouts (4-10 presets)
    • Elapsed time in minutes and seconds
    • Heart rate (optional on some models)
  • Caloric expenditure is an estimation based on workload but is usually within 90% of actual energy expended for that amount of time.
  • Start with a manual preset workout to control duration and exercise intensity level, especially for first-time users.
  • Higher-intensity preset workouts (hills and/or intervals) are contraindicated for most patients with diabetes or CVD, at least during early stages of the patientÕs training program.
  • See Exercise Modes Instructions [PDF - 79KB] for information on specific exercise equipment.
Overview How To Other Resources EHR Documentation

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov