Many individuals think that when it comes to either moderate or high intensity workouts, one is better than the other. However, the reality is that both high intensity exercise and moderate intensity exercise each have their pros and cons. Both exercises target somewhat different aspects of health and most individuals are best off doing a little of both.
How is Exercise Intensity Measured?
One of the most common ways to measure the intensity level of an exercise is by measuring the amount of oxygen your body consumes while engaging in the exercise. Another way to measure intensity, which is easier to do at home, is by measuring your maximum heart rate (MHR). Low intensity exercise gets you to about 40% MHR, moderate intensity is around 60% MHR, and high intensity is anything above 70% MHR. One common rule of thumb for estimating your MHR is by subtracting your age from 220.
Most individuals should try to get at least around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Moderate intensity exercises include walking, jogging, playing tennis, doing yard work, and swimming. Moderate intensity exercise is great for individuals who are generally healthy but also sedentary. It is a good way to ease into exercise, begin losing weight, and improve cardiovascular health. Even individuals accustomed to doing high intensity workouts can benefit by using moderate intensity workouts as a warm up after stretching.
Most high intensity workout plans should strive for at least 75 minutes of high intensity activity per week. High intensity exercise is better for individuals who want to achieve similar results to moderate intensity but in a much shorter time. Unlike moderate intensity exercise, however, which can be broken up into increments as short as 10 minutes per day, high intensity exercises require you to maintain your target MHR for at least 20 minutes. Experts recommend high intensity training for individuals with more experience exercising. If you suffer from a cardiovascular condition, you should speak to your doctor before starting a high intensity workout program.
PumpFit Club offers classes which feature a combination of high intensity and moderate intensity workouts for maximum exercise efficiency. Contact us today and ask about trying a free class!