What is intensity in exercise? Why is it important?
Posted on 19th May 2023 at 13:14
There is a lot of jargon and technical language used when you look at intensity in exercise. This blog puts an end to that and tells you, in simple terms, what intensity is. We will dive into the three forms of intensity used when exercising. Following this, we will explain what intensity you should be using and how often we recommend you to be using it. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better we will also give you some great examples of exercises you can use for each intensity.
So what do we mean when we talk about ‘intensity’?
First of all it is important to note that intensity can be a very subjective description. In reality, intensity is relevant to yourself and can vary from person to person. However if we were to sum it up in a sentence, intensity is the level of exertion that you feel when completing an exercise. It is all relative to how hard your body is working during exercise.
Does that mean low intensity exercise is pointless?
The answer is absolutely not! Low intensity exercise should be an addition to your everyday life. Furthermore, low intensity exercise is the easiest form of exercise to add into your routine without the need for a gym.
If you are beginning your fitness journey, high intensity workouts can often be daunting. Performing regular low intensity exercises such as walking, light swimming and a light cycle can lead to you seeing a vast difference in your health and wellness.
If you are struggling to incorporate low intensity exercise into your day, try the following:
Walking/Cycling to work
Walking your children to school
Walking with a friend
Volunteering to dog walk
Sign up to your local public pool
All of these methods can help shape your fitness plans and prepare your body if you wish to take on a more rigorous exercise plan.
So then, what does high intensity do for me?
According to Harvard Health, using high intensity forms of exercise can increase your cardiovascular fitness by working hard for short periods. This is as opposed to using low intensity over a longer period.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts have been shown to improve blood flow, burn calories and improve blood sugar levels. For those of you that are looking to become sports players or are currently playing sport at any level, HIIT can be a sure fire way of improving anaerobic performance.
If you are stuck on how to improve your training through HIIT workouts, please reach out to a member of the Isle Health team who will be able to assess your current fitness needs.
Don’t worry, there is a middle ground!
When talking about intensity, it is easy to get carried away with the extremes of both ends of the scale. That’s why we are going to speak about the middle intensity exercise that is perfect for those that are looking to expand their workout routine!
The definition for a medium intensity exercise is for the heart to be working at 50-70% of maximum heart rate.
Some great methods of exercise at a medium intensity are:
Carrying out more intense cleaning tasks
Walking briskly/ Jogging
Mowing the garden
Playing racquet sports
How can we help?
At Isle Health, we absolutely pride ourselves on helping you find the correct exercise. Whether you’re new to exercise and need some assistance on how to get in the best shape possible or an athlete looking to expand their exercise in order to cure boredom. We’ve got you covered!
Get in touch to discuss today!
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