Cardiovascular exercise is a good way to improve both your fitness and overall health. To achieve the positive benefits of exercise you must be able to properly gauge your workout intensity. Lower intensity exercise, like walking, is ideal for fat burning. Moderately intense exercise, such as jogging, is great for building cardiovascular fitness. High intensity exercise, such as sprinting, is effective for more sport-specific training.
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Although it is difficult to define the ideal heart rate for exercise there are some general rules. Light intensity exercise will keep your heart rate below 50 percent of your maximum heart rate. Moderate intensity will keep your heart rate between 50 and 70 percent of the maximum heart rate. And high intensity exercise will keep your heart rate at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. To determine your maximal heart rate -- in beats per minute -- subtract your age from 220. A 40-year-old, for example, will measure their maximal heart rate as 180 (220 - 50 = 180) beats per minute.
Exercises for Moderate Intensity
Many exercises can effectively be done at moderate intensity; good examples include water aerobics, hiking on a flat surface, brisk walking, and doubles tennis. The best way to ensure that you are using moderate intensity is to make sure you are working at a pace where you could talk but could not sing. This talk test will help keep your exercise at the right intensity.