Three Ways to Measure Your Activity Intensity

By Lucy Casale, Contributing Writer
5/15/2013 10:48:11 AM

Maybe you take a water aerobics class. Or maybe you shoot hoops with friends after work. You might garden or take long walks. If you already do activities like these, you're engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

To stay healthy, adults need 150 minutes of this sort of activity each week. You can break this down into five 30-minute sessions to make it more doable. Or try three 10-minute sessions daily, five times per week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week. These guidelines are for people ages 18 to 64. However, if you are 65 or older, are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit you, you can follow these guidelines.

If 150 minutes is too much for you at first, don't beat yourself up. Some activity is better than none. Take it slow and work your way up to that goal. However, once you can exercise for those 150 minutes, you'll most likely want to ensure it's time well spent.

Can't tell if what you're doing qualifies as a moderate-intensity aerobic activity? You can measure your activity intensity to find out. You don't need special tools or equipment. It's a self-monitoring process. This measurement helps you figure out how hard your body is working. You can then adjust the intensity of your activity by speeding up or slowing down your movements.

Credit: myOptumHealth

There are three fairly simple ways to measure your activity intensity.

The Talk Test

Level of difficulty: Easy

If your activity is moderate intensity, you should still be able to talk. But you should not be able to sing.

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