Low Intensity MET Exercises
There is a great deal of information both online and in fitness magazines about the health benefits of high intensity exercises, with little regard for low intensity activities. Find out the health benefits of low intensity exercises in this second post on MET (metabolic equivalent of Task). The Well One energy models are based on MET which measures the intensity of a physical activity.
The Lowdown on Low Intensity
Cross-training centers, bootcamps and running clubs are popping up everywhere as the interest in seeing quick results in terms of fitness are sought by nations of people who have become victims to the negative effects of modern life. There is no denying that high intensity exercise offers quicker results in terms of increasing lung capacity and dropping weight. Yet, it might not be for everyone or at least not from the start. Modernity has not made high intensity exercise a thing of the past, but has rather greatly limited the need for low and medium intensity exercise. We drive to the shop for milk instead of walking or biking. We call our friends and chat over the internet instead of going for a stroll together and talking in nature. Interestingly enough, given all the conveniences that we enjoy, we burn much fewer calories in a day than we used to. These calories were once used up doing low intensity activities. Another argument for low intensity movement is that it actually gives you energy and you don’t get tired as fast. It also keeps you limber and helps you build general endurance.
The internationally renowned coach to many endurance runners and other athletes Dr. Philip Maffetone came up with what he believes is the best way to increase one’s health. The principle is basically: if you want to go fast, you need to start slow. One can do this by subtracting one’s age from 180 and possibly subtracting a further 5 – 10 if you’re just starting to get fit again. The resulting number is the heart rate that you want to operate at. It is low intensity and over the period of a 3 – 6 months you should be able to perform more tasks faster at that level – which is great for endurance and strengthening your base fitness.
Types of Activities
Now you might be wondering what kinds of activities you can do that are low intensity. If you recall from the first article, activities that are considered to be low intensity have a MET value that is below 3. These activities include things like walking, golfing, stretching, doing yoga, tai chi, pilates, or meditation. These are activities that you can easily work into your everyday routine. Walking, for instance. Well One works with fitbit and other pedometers. Increasing the amount of steps you take each day is an excellent way to add over 1,000 km of walking to a year. Taking the stairs up eight floors each day adds up to climbing the height of Mount Everest each year. Furthermore, activities such as meditation, yoga and walking also provide you with perfect moments to clear your mind and increase your mental well-being.
If you are looking for an easy and effective way to increase your general well-being without concern for making time to change your clothes and shower after a workout, build low intensity activities into your daily life. Use some of the devices like fitbit that work directly with Well One to see how these small changes can cause big results in your physical and mental well-being.
Low intensity activities are easy to implement into your everyday life, from walking one bus stop further to taking the stairs or taking 20 minutes out of your day to meditate. Use low intensity activities to build up endurance by keeping your heart rate low and see how much you can do when you need to do aerobic activities.
About the Author: Christian Langenegger (born 1982) has lived and worked in Canada, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. In 2009 he founded the language school Marathon Sprachen with his best friend in Zurich. Christian is also a regular contributor to the online magazine Newly Swissed and co-founded the running enthusiasts blog Dromeus with another friend in 2012.