Moderate or vigorous? 1 easy tracker that shows if your exercise is more or less intense
So, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and join the brood exercising to rack up health benefits. All kinds of research exists on the amount and intensity of exercise needed to be able to live a healthy and happy life.
One thing common to all of the claims is that adults should get at least 150 minutes (about 2.5 hours) of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.
How do you decide if what you’re doing is enough if you don’t know if it’s moderate intensity or vigorous or neither?
What is moderate exercise?
The American Heart Association (AHA) adds that during moderate exercise your breathing will require more effort than if you were inactive, but you will still be able to talk.
So using the talk test is a good way to check if you are at a moderate intensity.
The talk test is a way to measure the relative intensity of an activity, and it relies on understanding how physical activity affects heart rate and breathing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) of the United States.
Generally, being able to speak but not sing during an activity would make it a moderate intensity, according to the CDC. Your voice may be labored, said physical therapist Nicholas Rolnick, but you can carry on a conversation. “It’s (your) elevated heart rate, but it doesn’t interfere with a workout,” said Rolnick, who is based in New York.
No gadgets are required, this trick tells you if the exercise is intense:
It’s a simple method to increase intensity without any complicated fitness technology or software, says physical therapist Nicholas Rolnick. The talk test can help you “ensure that you are achieving the exercise intensity you want to achieve in order to meet recommended physical activity guidelines”.
During the most intense training, it would be impossible to carry on a conversation, Rolnick said. You couldn’t say more than a few words without having to pause to breathe, the CDC says. The idea behind the conversation test is that the harder you work, the more breathless you become and the harder it is to speak. By monitoring this, you can determine whether you are working at a lower intensity, a moderate intensity — which is the minimum you want to work on during cardio — and a high intensity.
Exercises performed at this intensity may include running, swimming, singles tennis, aerobic dancing, cycling over 10 miles per hour or on inclines, jumping rope, or hiking uphill or carrying a heavy load.
Warning: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.