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Measuring ‘Moderate' Exercise
July 9, 2017, 1:19 pm

Health experts frequently recommend 30 minutes of ‘moderate’ exercise each day to maintain a healthy body, but they often do not specify what this ‘moderate’ exercise is. What is moderate for one person may not necessarily be moderate for someone else with a different physique.

So how do you know whether you are moderately, hard or hardly exercising? The unscientific, but rule of thumb method used to measure the intensity of your workout is the ‘talk test’. If you are working in the moderate range, you can talk without too much difficulty. But if you can sing, you need to pick up the exercise pace, and if you are barely able to say a few words before pausing for breath then you are exercising vigorously.

A more scientific way of measuring moderate exercise or how hard you are exercising is to monitor your heart rate.

To measure the heart rate, first figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. A person’s target rate for moderate activity falls between 50 and 70 percent of their maximum heart rate. For example, a 50-year-old will probably have a maximum heart rate of 170 beats per minute and the sweet spot for moderate activity would fall between 85 and 119 beats per minute.

Once you calculate your own heart rate range on paper, check to see if you are in this range during exercise by stopping to take your pulse for 30 seconds and then multiplying that number by two.

Walking, gardening or playing golf without using a golf-cart are ways to get moderate exercise, while jogging, swimming or aerobic dancing all count as vigorous exercise.

If you are pressed for time, and in good physical shape, doing more strenuous exercise may be the way to go. Vigorous exercisers only need 15 minutes of activity a day to get the same results as moderate movers.

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