That sounds like a good motto for someone like me, who's had her share of Homer Simpson-type moments over the years while pursuing a higher level of fitness. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
So in an effort to help others avoid one of the rookie mistakes I used to make, I'm offering a little quiz that I made up myself (as if you couldn't tell).
Now that summer is truly upon us, I'm sure some of you weekend warriors are hitting the tracks, trails and sidewalks for some good old-fashioned aerobic exercise. But do you know at what intensity you should be walking/jogging/running?
I know I'm having a good aerobic workout when:
A) My lungs are burning and I'm hyperventilatingIf you answered D, get outta here, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
B) I'm coughing up blood and/or vomiting
C) I feel like I'm exercising at a moderate to strong intensity, but can still carry on a conversation
D) I walk to the liquor store for my Bud Light and scratch tickets
If you answered B, please make an appointment with a cardiologist immediately.
Now A is incorrect, but maybe not as obvious. I think a lot of people have the idea — in many areas of life, not just fitness — that if a little of something is good, then more must be even better. So if a little exertion is good for us, then we must be doing really well if we're "feeling the burn" and gasping for air during our workouts.
But in one of those weird paradoxes of life, the truth is that if you're breathing so heavily during an aerobic workout that you can't comfortably converse, then your heart rate has probably exceeded the range needed for cardiovascular benefits. You're sucking wind — for nothing!
Therefore, C is the correct answer.
There — the more you know, the less you 'd'oh!' And if you're not familiar with The Simpsons or those "more you know" public service announcements, well, never mind ... Guess I'll have to jog on back to the drawing board, at a moderate intensity, of course.