What is oomph? Oomph is the intensity or effort that you put into your exercise or activities. Oomph is what makes a walk around your neighborhood a brisk walk that burns calories. Faster walking burns more calories per minute than slower walking. Also, walking uphill boosts the calorie burn compared to walking on level ground.
How do I track oomph? A fast and easy way to check if your workout has “oomph” is asking yourself if you are working hard enough to be slightly out of breath? Can you answer yes or no questions? If you are, you are working out at a “moderate-intensity” level! At this level, you maximize your health benefits and burn more calories.
To burn more calories through physical activity to increase your “oomph”, you can:
- Exercise for longer: if you burn, say, 150 calories in 20 minutes, you can burn 300 calories in 40 minutes.
- Exercise at a higher intensity: you can burn 50% more calories in the same amount of time if you walk briskly compared to if you walk slowly.
- Choose a different activity: you can burn 50% more calories doing aerobics compared to walking, or playing tennis compared to playing golf.
Before you start, ask your doctor for clearance to be sure that the workouts you are planning are appropriate and safe. Then, be sure that you are following good practices. Start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down followed by stretching, and wear proper shoes and comfortable clothing.
Then, you can work on choosing the amount of oomph that is right for your level and your body. For example, if you have bad knees or ankles, you may need a low-impact impact workout, such as walking or low-impact aerobics, that does not involve running or jumping. You may need a non-impact activity, such as swimming or pilates. If you have been experiencing discomfort such as hyperventilating or burning lungs, you may simply need to lower the intensity.
- Intermediate: brisk walking, hiking on moderate terrain, gardening, doubles tennis, aerobics, water aerobics, resistance training with high repetitions and low weight.
- Advanced: running, cycling or elliptical workouts with intervals, walking or hiking uphill, singles tennis, basketball, circuit training at the gym with plyometric moves, kettlebell workouts, lap swimming step aerobics.