You know them. You've seen them at your local big box gym. Maybe it's YOU.
This person is on the same treadmill or elliptical day after day. They are reading a magazine, or talking to their fellow treadmiller. When the time is up, they walk out as if nothing happened.
This, my friends, is not fitness for change. This is fitness for appearances.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or to simply improve your fitness level, workout intensity makes a significant difference. There are two ways to gauge your intensity level:
- How you feel. Exercise intensity is a subjective measure of how hard physical activity feels to you while you're doing it - your perceived exertion. Your perceived level of exertion may be different from what someone else feels doing the same exercise. For example, what feels to you like a hard run can feel like an easy workout to someone who's more fit.
- Your heart rate. Your heart rate offers a more objective look at exercise intensity. In general, the higher your heart rate during physical activity, the higher the exercise intensity.
If weight loss (body fat loss) is your goal, shoot for 2-3 intense interval cardio sessions per week in addition to two strength training sessions. If you can carry on a conversation while you are working out, you're not working hard enough and wasting time.
Step it up please.