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What Is Light Exercise?

author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
What Is Light Exercise?
A slow walk is light exercise. Photo Credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts physical activity on a spectrum based on heart rate and physical exertion. Light exercise is the lowest end of the spectrum, but is still good for your health.

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The simplest method for determining the intensity of your workout is the talk test. You should be able to sing while performing light exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Light exercise is also defined as working out at less than 50 percent of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your max heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Check your pulse throughout your workout to determine your heart rate range. For instance, if you're 20 years old, your max heart rate is 220 minus 20, or 200. Light exercise would mean keeping your heart rate below 100 beats per minute.


Walking slowly, cooking, vacuuming, gardening, dusting and golfing using a cart to travel between tees are all types of light exercise, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. You can easily turn light exercise into moderate-intensity activity by increasing the speed or duration.

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