Moderate or vigorous? 1 easy tracker tool that tells if your exercise is more or less intense

Are you able to talk with ease while exercising? That reflects the intensity lwvwl of your fitness regime (Photo: Pixabay)en.

So, you have decided to bite the bullet and join the brood that exercises for accrual of health benefits. All kinds of research exist into how much and with how much intensity one needs to exercise to be able to lead a healthy, happy life.

One thing common among all claims is that adults must get at least 150 minutes (approximately 2 and a half hours) of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity weekly.

How do you decide whether what you are doing is enough if you have no clue it is of moderate-intensity or vigorous or neither?

What Is Moderate Exercise?

According to Very Well Fit the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has ruled that “Anything that gets your heart beating faster” counts as moderate exercise. Moderate-intensity cardio exercise includes brisk walking, raking the yard or mopping floors, and playing tennis with a partner. Easy jogging. Walking or jogging on a treadmill. Elliptical trainer. Bicycling under 10 miles per hour, on level ground or with few hills. All these are considered moderate-intensity workouts.

The Talk Test Tracker:

The American Heart Association (AHA) adds that, when doing moderate exercise, your breathing will require more effort than if you were inactive, yet you will still be able to speak.

So, using the talk test is a good way to monitor whether you’re at a moderate intensity.

Kristen Rogers, CNN reports on that if you’re wondering how to stick with your favorite workout but make it more intense, the “talk test” might be your answer.

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 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Generally, being able to talk but not sing during an activity would make it moderate intensity, the CDC says. Your voice might be labored, said physical therapist Nicholas Rolnick, but you can carry on a conversation. “It’s (your) heart rate elevated, but not interfering with a workout,” said Rolnick, who’s based in New York City.

No gadgets are required, this trick tells you if exercise is intense:

It’s an easy method of scaling intensity without any complicated fitness technology or software, physical therapist Nicholas Rolnick said. The talk test can help you “make sure that you’re hitting the intensity of exercise that you want to hit in order to meet physical activity-recommended guidelines.”

During the most intense workout, carrying on a conversation would be impossible, Rolnick said. You wouldn’t be able to say more than a few words without having to pause for a breath, the CDC says. The idea behind the talk test is that the harder you work, the more breathless you become and the harder it is to talk. By monitoring that, you can determine whether you’re working at a lower intensity, a moderate intensity — which is the minimum you want to work during cardio — and a high intensity.

Exercises done to that intensity can include running, swimming laps, singles tennis, aerobic dancing, bicycling faster than 10 miles per hour or on inclines, jumping rope or hiking uphill or while carrying a heavy load.

Disclaimer: 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 a dietician before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.


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