Do you ever take the stairs or hit the treadmill and find yourself gasping like you’ve just scaled Mount Kilimanjaro? Believe it or not, that kind of intensity is actually a good thing if your body is used to it. But how do you know when you’re pushing too hard, too little, or if you’ve found that sweet spot?
Exercise guidelines recommend you need 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week. What defines moderate to vigorous? Use the “can you sing rule” of thumb to figure out your level. These pro tips will help you gauge your intensity level next time you’re breaking a sweat:
- Light – You are out for leisurely stroll and you can carry on a complete conversation or sing all the words to your favourite song.
- Moderate – At this level, you should be able to talk, but not sing along to your favourite song (This is just for reference –please don’t be that guy at the gym).
- Vigorous – When the heavy breathing kicks in, and you can only get a few words out.
- Very hard – Think quick, intense bursts of exercise. If you’ve ever done a bootcamp, you know what we’re talking about. Singing – not a chance
- Maximum – The point where you throw in the towel – literally.
Aim for moderate to vigorous intensity to see awesome healthy results. As an added bonus, you may even lose a few pounds by doing vigorous activity a few times per week. Remember, you don’t have to change much to notice big health gains!