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Exercise Intensity And Why It Matters. Know Your Fitness Level.

The fitness and endurance levels of each person varies, so what one might consider an intense workout may turn out to be just light exercise for another. In order to get the maximum benefits from your exercise, you should know your fitness level and tailor your exercise intensity accordingly.
When it comes to exercise intensity, the important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you are not overdoing your work nor are you under-doing it. You should gauge how the activity feels to you, whether it feels like you’re doing an adequate amount of exertion or if it’s just like a walk in the park. You can tell the intensity of your exercise by how it makes you feel and also by how much your heart is pounding. The faster your heart beat is, the more intense your workout.

Here is a guideline on the levels of exercise intensity:

  • Light exercise will not show any noticeable changes in your pattern of breathing. You will be able to carry on a normally paced conversation, you will not be sweating either. These activities could include walking.
  • Moderate exercise will pick your breathing pace up but you are not out of breath. After 10 minutes of doing such activity, you will break into light sweat. You should still be able to carry on a normal conversation while doing moderate exercise.
  • Vigorous exercise will get you breathing deeply and more rapidly. You will also break out into sweat after only a few minutes of engaging in an activity, and you will be out of breath and won’t be able to carry out a normal conversation. 

For most people, moderate to vigorous exercise intensity is recommended to get the most benefit from your exercise routine. This means that your activity should get your pulse rate up, you should sweat and you should feel the exertion from your body. This could be about 150 minutes of moderate activity spread out throughout the week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Moderate activity can include jogging or brisk walking or swimming. Vigorous activity can include fast dancing or running.

You should also incorporate strength training to your routine— that which strengthens you muscles, improves coordination, balance and flexibility. Strength training is recommended twice a week for a few minutes each time, and activities may include weight lifts, rock climbing, lunges or push ups.

If you are a beginner in working out, it’s ok to start with mild to moderate physical activity. You can start out with brisk walking for the first few days or weeks of your training, gradually picking up the pace to a more intense workout. You can then move on to a light jog, then onto a regular jog. If you find your pace hard to sustain, you could always pause to catch your breath before starting to pick the pace up again.

Having an intense workout is good for the body but you should still be careful not to overexert yourself. Going past what your body can endure may lead to injuries. You should also be especially careful if you have medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or are obese. It is best to seek the advice of your doctor so that he can recommend the right exercise intensity for you.