Be Active: Intensity Type

Be Active: Intensity Type

What are the different intensity levels of physical activity?

  • Vigorous Intensity– increases the breathing and heart rate. You may need to take a breath mid-sentence during a conversation. You will likely feel warm and you may break a sweat. Self-described as “Hard” or “Very Hard” activity. Examples: hiking uphill, running, aerobic dancing, heavy yardwork (digging or hoeing), tennis (singles), or biking over 10 mph.
  • Moderate Intensity– increases the breathing and heart rate some, but not as much as vigorous. You are still able to hold a conversation. Self-described as “Somewhat Hard” activity. Examples: brisk walking, water aerobics, dancing, gardening, yoga, shoveling snow, or biking slower than 10 mph.
  • Light Intensity– breathing and heart rate increase very little, if at all. This activity requires minimal work from you and includes most sitting activities. Examples: casual walking, stretching, sitting, playing fetch, light yard or housework, fishing, or golf (with cart).

Remember, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state 150-300 mins of moderate-intensity, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week!

Find more tips or learn more about the Physical Activity for Lifelong Success (PALS) program at

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