Well here I sit giddy like a young school girl after starting the constantly talked about- Fifty Shades of Grey (yes I am a sheep). So far I’m loving it and had to pry myself away to post haha. If you haven’t read it- do it. Go out to Kmart/Big W and grab it for $10! It’s funny how encouraging my bf was for me to read it- given the wrap it has been getting ;)
But back onto some family friendly stuff- here is my inspiration/motivation/positive living board I’ve compiled. I’m going to hang it in my room somewhere in view- so I can glance over and remind myself of all these positive mantras. Sometimes one just needs that obvious, straight-in-your-face, explicit reminder ya know?
Today’s step class was an absolute hoot! I mixed it up a bit and did the athletic track instead of the party and speed tracks (the party track this release is IMO an absolute shocker). The members loved it and I did too- it’s fun to kick their butts to awesome music with basic moves that really push your fitness levels. I’ve got requests to do it again next week and I already can’t wait! I’ll have to take a post-class sweaty shot for you next time ;) And coincidently, this brings me to today’s post topic. How hard do you go?
Workout/exercise intensity I feel is more so about what you put in- rather than it primarily being about the type of workout or exercise move. Of course, body step will be more intense than body balance (although my achy body this morning would have to disagree after yesterday’s class) so the type of exercise/workout does contribute to the intensity somewhat. But really I feel it’s the way you push yourself (effort) and execute the workout (technique) that really dictates the intensity. And of course, exercise intensity is going to vary according to a range of factors such as fitness, time, workout type etc. Alot of what you will read about shortly is also subjective- it’s not necessary a one size fits all kind of thing. Also, this is all my personal opinion, beliefs and research- Please remember, although I sound it (oh you’re kidding right), I am not a professional ;) Haha.
One way to measure how hard you’re working and how much effort you’re putting in is through your heart rate (HRM post coming soon). This is an objective form of looking at exercise intensity. A heart rate target zone is the zone professionals recommend you work in during cardio activity. Typically, this can range from 50-80% of your maximum heart rate. Once you know these target zones you can use them to guide you through your workout and make sure you are putting as much in as you can at the appropriate times. Try it for a workout and see how you go? Could you do more? Or are you overdoing it in the warm up (guilty)?
A more subjective way of measuring your exercise intensity is how you are feeling or your perceived exertion. Here is a rough outline taken from Mayo Clinic:
Light Exercise intensity
Light activity feels easy. Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a light level:
- You have no noticeable changes in your breathing pattern.
- You don’t break a sweat (unless it’s very hot or humid).
- You can easily carry on a full conversation or even sing.
Moderate exercise intensity
Moderate activity feels somewhat hard. Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a moderate level:
- Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
- You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
- You can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing.
Vigorous exercise intensity
Vigorous activity feels challenging. Here are clues that your exercise intensity is at a vigorous level:
- Your breathing is deep and rapid.
- You develop a sweat after a few minutes of activity.
- You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
Beware of pushing yourself too hard too often. If you’re short of breath, in pain or can’t work out as long as you’d planned, your exercise intensity is probably higher than your fitness level allows. Back off a bit and build intensity gradually.
Another nifty resource I found on Better Health Victoria is an exertion rating scale.
|Barely there||Sensation of movement|
|Moderate||Stronger sensation of movement|
|Somewhat hard||Warmth or light sweating|
|Very hard||Moderate sweating, but can still talk|
|Extremely hard||Heavy sweating, can’t talk|
|Maximum effort||Very heavy sweating, can’t talk|
I’d say today during that athletic track I was at 7/8- although I felt like a 10! I’m lucky that the athletic track is one that allows itself to silence- silence can be used during intensive times to motivate and create atmosphere- which meant I got a break from talking haha.
I think these resources and tools are useful to use during a workout, especially if performance and effort are on your workout agenda for the day. But never let having to push yourself ‘to prove you’re working hard enough’ get in the way of you enjoying your workout. As I tell my step classes- ‘the workout is YOUR workout and it is all about you. You must do whatever it is you need to do in order to make it through safely’. And most of us won’t take that as a chance to slack off but instead treat it as a reminder to listen to what your body says and to chose appropriate intensity levels. And the class today? They absolutely kicked butt and backed up the athletic track with a kick-ass final peak ;)
Haha this is how I and many of the members felt after the class.
My day thus far has been quite productive and I (literally) have been crossing things of my to-do list all day (so what if reading was on there? We all need a little down time ;)). I am making a delicious hoisin lamb and spinach stirfry for tea and seeing the bf’s mum and grandpa today; after I walk dogs (if it ever clears up), have a late lunch, read some more (come to my Mr Grey), catch up on blogs and go through a new recipe mag!
Now it’s your turn- do you think you are working hard enough during your workouts? Or could you give a little more?