By Kristen Rogers, CNN
(CNN) — If you’re wondering how to stick to your favorite workout while making it more intense, the “talk test” might be your answer.
The talk test is a way to measure the relative intensity of an activity, and it relies on understanding how physical activity affects heart rate and breathing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United States.
Generally, being able to speak but not sing during an activity would make it a moderate intensity, according to the CDC. Your voice may be labored, said physical therapist Nicholas Rolnick, but you can carry on a conversation. “It’s (your) elevated heart rate, but it doesn’t interfere with a workout,” said Rolnick, who is based in New York.
It’s a simple method of scaling intensity without any complicated fitness technology or software, Rolnick said. The talk test can help you “ensure that you are achieving the exercise intensity you want to achieve in order to meet recommended physical activity guidelines”.
This activity might feel like brisk walking, or 3 miles per hour or faster, but not brisk walking. Water aerobics, bicycling at less than 10 miles per hour on flat or level ground, tennis and ballroom dancing could also match this level of intensity, according to the CDC.
During the most intense training, it would be impossible to carry on a conversation, Rolnick said. You couldn’t say more than a few words without having to pause to breathe, the CDC says.
Exercises performed at this intensity may include running, swimming, singles tennis, aerobic dancing, cycling over 10 miles per hour or on inclines, jumping rope, or hiking uphill or carrying a heavy load.
The World Health Organization has recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes – 2.5 hours – of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. It can reduce the risk of premature death, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and type 2 diabetes, according to the WHO.
Pregnant women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic and strengthening exercise per week, according to WHO recommendations. And children under 18 need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise (primarily aerobic activity) per day.
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