Monday, October 10, 2011

Pushing Harder

Gabbing your way through your workout? If you want to improve your fitness level, you may have to push a little harder.
Walking is a great way to stay fit, but to reap the cardiovascular benefits, you have to make sure you’re moving at a brisk enough pace. Here’s an easy way to gauge how hard you’re working: Try holding a conversation.

Researchers have found that people who can talk comfortably during exercise are likely working out in a zone that’s appropriate for beginners and general health. Heather Nettle, MA, an exercise physiologist, explains it this way: You should be able to maintain a conversation, but singing or arguing would leave you breathless.
For people who are already in shape, or who want to push their fitness level further, you’ll need to step it up a notch, to where talking becomes difficult. Another way to think about it, says Nettle: On a scale of 1 to 10, moderate-intensity workouts should feel like a 4 or 5; vigorous activities will range from 5 to 7. No workout buddy? No problem.

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