In addition to increasing the amount of time you are active, you can also increase your daily physical activity by cranking up the intensity. Light-intensity activity is any physical activity more strenuous than sleeping and less strenuous than a brisk walk. Moderate-intensity walking means walking a mile (1.6 km) in 15 to 20 minutes, a pace of 3 to 4 miles (4.8-6.4 km) an hour. It’s similar to the way you walk when you’re hurrying to make an appointment or to get out of the cold. Vigorous-intensity activities include jogging, riding a bicycle uphill, participating in a strenuous aerobics class, or playing a strenuous sport.
Here are a few simple ways to turn light activity into moderate activity:
- Let’s say you usually stroll to the cafeteria on your afternoon break. Instead of walking leisurely, take a brisk walk. You’ll turn a light activity into a moderate one. (Go the long way around, and you’ll use even more energy.)
- When it’s time to vacuum the house, put on your favorite fast dance music and try to keep up. If you feel yourself getting slightly winded, then you’re doing moderate-intensity activity.
- Love to shop? First take a fast-paced walk around the mall or shopping area, glancing at what the windows have to offer. Once you’ve completed your circuit, reward yourself by going back to check out things that intrigued you.
Turning Up the Intensity
In the following space, write down two light-intensity activities that you are willing to crank up into moderate-intensity activities simply by picking up the pace. You can also download a copy of this form from the ALED Online Web site.