Summer is in full swing and with it comes the excitement to get outdoors and try new activities. If you’ve been indoors this past spring, watching sports more than participating in them, be especially careful when you re-start your exercise program. A good indicator of how hard you are working is the “Talk Test”.
When exercising, if you can talk continually without a break, it shows that you are not working hard enough. However, when you can say only a word or two at a time before you have to take a breath you are working too hard. For example, if you say: “the other” (breath) “day” (breath) “I went” (breath) “to” (breath) “the store”…then it is obvious that you are exercising too hard. You have winded yourself.
Wearing a heart rate monitor can help to tell if you are in the correct heart rate zone for aerobic exercise. But short of wearing a monitor, a comfortable conversation may be something like: “the other day I went” (breath) “to the store” (breath).
To increase intensity, try new activities that are fun for you. A friend shares, “It has just been reinforced for me that exercise that is fun is much less exhausting. Last night I played tennis for the first time in more than ten years. Because it has been so long, I signed up for a beginner class. It was our hottest day of the year so far, and we were pretty much constantly in motion except for some short stints when we watched the instructor demonstrate a technique. Yet after 90 minutes, I was still jogging across the court to pick up the tennis balls, and I didn’t feel pooped like I do after 30 minutes of swimming or an hour of walking. I think it was because I was having fun – the challenge of developing and improving a skill, of getting the ball into the correct target area (okay – of just getting the ball across the net).”
Another friend shares the joy of playing tennis, “When we went away to a resort, we played tennis with our children. I thought it would only hold their interest for a short time. But they loved it. We played for at least two hours.”
Whether you play tennis, swim, mountain bike or run, the most important thing is that you enjoy it. This will help you to stay at the right level of intensity and take the chore out of getting fit.
Blessings on the road to health!
Kimberley Payne, a former Personal Trainer who lives in Ontario, combines Christian commitment with ten years experience in the health and wellness arena. Visit her Website www.kimberleypayne.com, and you can connect on Twitter @fitforfaith.