There are days when you can really go to the mat for your fitness commitment. You give it all your effort and head home spent. Other days…not so much. Maybe your heart isn’t in it, or you’re new to the exercise game. Whatever the reason you want to take it easy. Here are three exercise ideas for easy, medium and light days. Goodbye excuses, we’ve got you covered no matter how much energy or how little fitness experience you have.

Easy effort exercise ideas

Exercise is as easy as taking a walk. You don’t need any special equipment or to change into any special clothes. Have a nice walk during your lunch break and arrive at your desk refreshed. Walk purposefully, but not too fast. No shower required.

Swimming is easy on the joints and can be tailored to any fitness or energy level. Head to the pool for a 15 or 20-minute dip.

Moderate effort exercise
According to Harvard School of Public Health, “moderate-intensity activities are those that get you moving fast enough or strenuously enough to burn off three to six times as much energy per minute as you do when you are sitting quietly.” You should be able to talk, but not sing at this level of intensity. Examples of moderate exercise include:

Tennis (doubles) – grab a buddy and head for the court. Studies show that exercise with a partner boost performance and adherence.

Young people on bikes in a fitness club

Biking – you’ll need to move at a pace of about 10 to 12 miles per hour. Give your heart a workout and treat your senses to the great outdoors.

Vigorous exercise
Intense exercise uses more than six times the amount of energy you use sitting quietly. On a scale of one to ten you would rate your exertion at an 8 or better. You should only be able to say a word or two without needing to take a breath.
Good examples include:

• Biking at around 14 miles per hour.
• Tennis (singles) – the competition will drive you to go harder.
• Basketball
• Hiking
• Sprinting
• High intensity interval training (HIIT) the opposite of steady state exercise, HIIT alternates periods of intense exercise with rest. For example, run as fast as you can for 30 seconds and walk for ten. Repeat for the desired number of cycles.

As you might have guessed, level of exertion is subjective. A seasoned athlete and fitness newbie would measure the same activity at the same pace very differently. Go at your own pace, based on your fitness and energy level. Use the talk test as a measure or target heart rate to determine how hard you are working.

How to get your target heart rate:
Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute. You want to stay between 50 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This range is your target heart rate
American Heart Association