Exercise: Adding Intensity

You have been exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week. Now you can move on to the next stage: increasing the intensity. This means doing your activity in one or more of these ways:

  • Longer. Exercise for 30 minutes or more without a break.

  • Faster. Hike, run, or skate fast enough to raise your heart rate moderately—as if you had walked fast to catch a bus.

  • More often. Do your activity 4 to 6 times a week instead of 1 to 3 times.

Mature couple jogging together.

Not just gym class

Be creative. You can reach your health and fitness goals in many ways. Try some of these activities:

  • Team sports, like basketball or soccer

  • Social or recreational activities, like hiking or dancing

  • Individual exercise, like cycling, swimming, or skating

  • Group fitness classes, like aerobic classes or weight training

Safety first

Whatever activity you choose, think about safety:

  • Wear the right safety gear and shoes for your activity.

  • Drink plenty of water during and after workouts.

  • Wear light-colored clothing if you’re out when it’s dark.

  • Make time to warm up before you exercise and cool down after.

  • Carry ID (identification) with you if you’re out alone. And be sure someone knows where you’re going.

  • If you’re on foot, travel against traffic (except on blind corners). If you’re on a bike, go with traffic. Obey the rules of the road.

Tips for sticking with it

  • Find a workout partner or sports club. If you know someone is expecting you, you’ll be less likely to skip your workout.

  • Pack a workout bag with everything you need. Then it’s ready when you are.

  • Choose a few different activities so you’ll stay interested. Make it fun!

What will help you to stick with it?

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