You're Probably Exercising All Wrong. Here's How to Do Better.


Have you ever looked up the definition of vigorous exercise? If you haven’t you might be surprised, turns out many of us are really botching this whole working out thing.

When researchers at Toronto’s York University asked study participants to hop on a treadmill and set the machine to what they thought was light, moderate and intense activity, the two initial choices were fine. But, despite having the criteria for intense effort explained to them, many were still confused, according to the Daily News.

“We instructed volunteers to walk or jog on the treadmill at a speed which they felt corresponded to the ‘light,’ ‘moderate’ and ‘vigorous’ intensity descriptors used in the physical activity guide, yet they underestimated how hard they should be working to achieve moderate and vigorous intensity,” lead researcher and graduate student Karissa Canning says.

So what qualifies as light, moderate or vigorous exercise intensity?

The Center for Disease Control says moderate is “working out at a rate of 5 or 6 on your personal scale of 1-10.” Walking, playing tennis or cycling slower than 10 miles an hour fits neatly into moderate, but if you’re trying to input vigorous exercise into that iPhone fitness app, you should be pushing your body harder than a quick walk from the car into a store. The CDC says if you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you won’t be able to gab freely about World Cup cuties without pausing for a breath. Vigorous activities include running, swimming laps, (sweaty) dancing and “heavy gardening” — that’s a lot of digging and hoeing, people. Don’t lie to your exercise mobile app; you know better.

Image via YouTube.

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