Work out intensity levels
Anyone who has been told to exercise by their doctor or who has done a quick google search of recommended daily activity has heard the phrase “moderate-intensity physical activity”. But what exactly does that mean?
Exercise intensity is the level of effort used in order to complete the activity; essentially, how hard am I working? This can vary dramatically based on individual fitness level and exercise experience.
Clinically, the intensity of an activity can be measured using Metabolic Equivalents (METs). One MET is the amount of energy used when you are sitting quietly. During moderate intensity activity, the energy used is 3-6 times that of sitting (3-6 METs), and the energy used in vigorous intensity activity is greater than 6 times (>6 METs).
A simple way to determine the intensity of your activity is using the Talk Test:
- at a moderate intensity, you should be able to talk but not sing
- at vigorous intensity, you should only be able to say a couple words before having to pause for a breath
For example, if you were to do 50 minutes of brisk walking, 40 minutes of pickleball, and 60 minutes of gardening in the course of a week, you would meet the WHO recommendations for activity to gain health benefits.
For other examples of moderate and vigorous activities, check out: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical_activity_intensity/en/
If you have any questions or want to know more, contact Summit Sport Physiotherapy!