Hello my name is Kim and I loathe exercise. Yep. This dietitian right here rarely has any desire to exercise. Any exercise you see me doing is forced; unless it comes in the form of walking on long sandy warm beaches or dancing. Those two I could do endlessly. And anyone that has seen me dance knows this is definitely a form of a workout meets Drama Club wanna be.

Next week starting January 23-29th, week 3’s challenge is 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise EVERY DAY.

What is moderate intensity?

Per the CDC, moderate intensity means you can talk through an exercise but shouldn’t be able to sing. 

Given my less than optimal singing voice, anyone working out with me should insist I keep up at a moderate pace.

University of Illinois says:

“Absolute moderate intensity has been defined by public health experts as any activity that expends 3.5 to 7 calories per minute. A classic example of moderate physical activity is walking at a 15-20 minute mile pace”.  

The other examples they list are:

  • Brisk walking
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Bicycling at 5 to 9 mph on level terrain, or with few hills; or stationary bicycling using moderate effort
  • Playing doubles tennis
  • Yoga
  • Golf, wheeling or carrying clubs
  • Playing Frisbee
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • General gardening, such as raking the lawn, bagging grass, digging, hoeing, or weeding while standing or bending
  • Shoveling light snow
  • Actively playing with children

I had the opportunity last week to spend 20 minutes with my Kindergartener during recess. We played Simon Says. For much of that time I found myself hopping on one foot, rubbing my tummy and chasing squealing little girls in a parking lot in 25 degree winter weather. It was the BEST 20 minutes of my day. And not once did I feel like it was exercise. HOWEVER, I’ve also been that mom that has taken my kids to the park and has WATCHED them for 20 minutes or more appropriately have pushed them on the swings for 20 minutes. There was little intensity in that. I could have sung a whole Broadway set.

Heart rate can also help you track your intensity. Many wearable health trackers have heart rate monitors on them. Here’s what the CDC says about that:

“For moderate-intensity physical activity, a person’s target heart rate should be 50 to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on the person’s age. An estimate of a person’s maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person’s age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). The 50% and 70% levels would be:

  • 50% level: 170 x 0.50 = 85 bpm, and
  • 70% level: 170 x 0.70 = 119 bpm

Thus, moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 85 and 119 bpm during physical activity.”

I must admit, that all seems too confusing for me. But then again, I’m not the wearable type of person. My 2015 Christmas fitbit present is collecting dust somewhere in the bowels of my closet. I’m hoping my husband figures out how to operate his Christmas gift this year, a Garmin Vivoactive HR watch in time for vacation. 

Confession time. During this challenge I’ll be in Florida. My fingers are crossed for weather nice enough to be able to take those long walks on the beach. However, 3 of those days per the extended weather forecast don’t look so dry. and the temperatures consistently fall all week long.

Hubby and I also have built in free, grandparent babysitting which means my loving husband will guilt me into going for a run with him. We ran together pre kids. Well jogged. We share a motto “Start slow and taper.” 

Just like healthy eating starts with a plan in place, if you’re not incorporating any exercise into your day or at least on a daily basis, now is a good time to look at your calendar and figure out how, when and where to fit it in.

As I believe I mentioned before, anymore than 20 minutes of exercise for this girl is only being done unless I pay someone to make sure I’m moving. I also like to be in the comforts of my own home when I exercise. I’ve found Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred to be a great DVD to get in a workout. Target has it for $7. You can also watch a bootleg version on YouTube if they haven’t taken it down yet.

Let me know, is this a tough one? Looking forward to it? Dreading it? Good timing?

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