Exercise and the MET

Exercise is one of the best ways known to keep yourself looking and feeling your best. However, many of you don’t know enough about exercise to produce an effective exercise plan.

The solution to that dilemma is simple. It is the MET, which stands for metabolic equivalent. The MET is the ratio of work metabolic rate to resting metabolic rate. 1 MET equals 1 kilocalorie per kilogram of weight per hour of expended energy which is the amount of energy we all use while at rest. While at rest, your MET=1. Walking at a brisk 3.0 mph, your MET=3.5. This means that during a brisk walk, you are expending 3-1/2 times more energy than when at rest.

Here are some MET values and their associated activities to help you better understand the flexibility that the MET offers.

MET=1.0      —-resting

MET=2.0      —-standing, making a bed, washing dishes, walking slowly

MET=2.5      —-playing darts, billiards, musical instrument

MET=3.0      —-vacuuming, sweeping, slow ballroom dancing

MET=3.5      —-Walking at 3.0 mph

MET=4.0      —-table tennis, shooting basketballs, non-competitive volleyball

MET=5.5      —-mowing with a power mower

MET=6.0      —-bicycling at 10-12 mph, swimming, walking – 4.5 mph, tennis-doubles

MET=7.0      —-walking/hiking, non-competitive soccer

MET= 8.0     —-competitive volleyball, tennis-singles, jogging – 5 mph

MET=9.5      —-competitive soccer, bicycling – 14-16 mph, jogging – 6 mph

A comprehensive list of MET values and the associated activities can be found in my Smartphone and Tablet APP, “healthylc.” The APP and the MET chart are a free download.

Having used the MET for many years, I can say that planning and implementing my exercise routines has been easy. I walk briskly (3.0 mph) for about 1 hour or more at least 3 times a week. This is the exercise at which we all get the most aerobic benefit with the least amount of effort. If I want to cut my exercise time in half, I can jog between 4.5 and 5.0 mph because I am expending twice as much energy (MET=7.0) as when walking briskly (3.5 mph). By doing the math, developing and implementing an exercise plan that meets your fitness goals can be easy for you too.

Best Health, —— Jorge Lugo

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