This brings me to another scientifically proven way to measure cardiovascular work and find an appropriate intensity- The Talk Test. The Talk Test is a simple way to measure your intensity with cardiovascular exercise.
Even though any exercise is better than none, generally speaking more intensity is better, to a point and considering that it’s safe for you.
What’s interesting and important is that the following Talk Test scale correlates directly to heart rates and 6/10 -8/10 or 60-80% of heart rate maximum correspond directly.
Talk Test Levels
1/10- Total Rest
5/10- Light Activity in Which You Could Talk
6/10- More Difficult to Talk but Still Possible
7/10- Talking While Exercise is Difficult
8/10- Talking Impossible
10/10- Total Exertion; Sprinting
Use the Talk Test levels when you don’t have a heart rate monitor. Most of the time keep it between 6-8 and do occasional 9s and 10s.
Total Time Spent Doing Cardiovascular Exercise
The total time, including warm ups and cool downs of 3 minutes, for cardio, should be 30 - 45 minutes. But remember anything is better than nothing and there is a dose-response relationship with exercise that starts to level off after 45-60 minutes.
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