Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have a heart condition- can I still take a Heart Wise class?

Yes. Anyone can take these classes, especially those concerned about their health or those just beginning an exercise program.

I already take part in exercise classes, but the class I am in doesn't have the Heart Wise logo. Does this mean it isn't safe?

Not at all. The Heat Wise Exercise logo has been developed to help people find a place to start exercising. While many exercise programs are safe and appropriate, Heart Wise Exercise classes have been identified as a good place to start for those with heart or other health conditions.

I want to help my heart, but I don't like doing aerobics: Do I have to do daily aerobics?

No- aerobic exercise is different than aerobics. Research has shown that the best way to improve hearth health is to do some daily aerobic exercise every day. This simply means any exercise that gets the heart pumping for a period of at least 10 minutes, but ideally for 30 minutes at one time. Great examples are walking, swimming, skating, and of course many fitness classes.

How would I start a Get W.I.T.H. It! in my community?

Get W.I.T.H. It! is a free, grassroots walking initiative that invites everyone to "get with" the benefits of walking during the cold, darker months of winter in the halls of your local high school. For more information on starting Get W.I.T.H It! in your community, email Hayley Sears at Many of these walking programs have been designed to meet the Heart Wise Exercise criteria, if you have a walking program and think it can become a Heart Wise Exercise program, contact or call (613) 761-5240

Is a Heart Wise Exercise fitness program all that I require?

To achieve health benefits and improve functional abilities, adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

What emergency plan is in place if I have a cardiac episode?

All Heart Wise Exercise program locations have an emergency plan, have phone access to EMS and have an AED on site.

I am concerned about safety in a fitness class and how hard I am working.

You are strongly recommended to follow the exercise recommendations outlined by your physician. Heart Wise Exercise fitness programs provide a gradual warm- up and your instructor will provide you with exercise options to help you reach your recommended level of intensity

I have a heart condition and am wondering if Heart Wise is suitable for me?

Heart Wise Exercise programs are designed to accommodate persons with heart and other health conditions. Specifically, the programs consist of low to moderate levels of intensity and encourages participants to exercise at an appropriate level.

If I have a heart problem should I contact my physician before I register in a Heart Wise Exercise fitness program?

Yes, part of the Heart Wise Exercise designation is that all participants receive medical approval from their physician before they start a fitness program.

What is the difference between Heart Wise Exercise programs and other fitness programs?

In some cases there are very few differences. Heart Wise Exercise programs are usually regular fitness classes that have been adapted to the needs of people with heart and other health conditions. Non Heart Wise Exercise programs are of course safe and effective for participants who are physically able to perform higher levels of intensity and/or more demanding exercise.