Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Finding The Right Exercise Intensity


We've all heard the exercise guidelines that recommend we participate in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 3-5 times per week. That seems easy enough to implement. Or, does it? The duration and frequency guidelines are very straight-forward and easily defined. But, "moderate" intensity is often left to interpretation. So, how do we define "moderate"?

First we need to understand that the definition of moderate intensity can be completely different from one individual to another. For example, a well-trained athlete may be in the moderate zone when running 5 miles in 30 minutes. Yet, for a novice exerciser who is very overweight, moderate means walking one mile in 30 minutes.

Don't let this confuse you. While the intensity level is very critical in the overall guideline, fortunately it's also fairly easily identified. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) defines moderate as an intensity of 40 percent to 60 percent VO2 maximum. But, since most of us don't know how to determine our VO2 maximum, there are easier definitions to utilize.

You can base VO2 loosely on your maximum target heart rate zone. A VO2 maximum of 40-60% equates to about 50 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR). And determining your MHR and the corresponding percent zones is relatively simple. Below is an easy calculation for determining your specific MHR and what 50-70 percent of equates to.

Target Heart Rate Zone

Take 220 and subtract your age. This equals your MHR. (Example: For a 30 year old your MHR is 190)

Next to determine your low range of 50 percent, simply take 190 and multiply it times 50 percent. (Example: For a 30 year old this would equal 95).

Finally, to determine your high range of 70 percent, simply take 190 and multiply it times 70 percent. (Example: For a 30 year old this would equal 133).'

So, in this example the 30 year-old would want to exercise in a heart rate range of somewhere between 95 - 133 BPM. Keep in mind that this calculation is age-related. It does not take into consideration your fitness level. So, it is not completely accurate, but still a good guideline. For an even more accurate (and more complicated) method for determining your training intensity range, visit this link: http://www.workoutsforyou.com/intensity.htm

Also, some medications can raise or lower your heart rate and change the heart's response to exercise. Beta-blockers are among those that alter the heart rate. This means that people taking these types of prescriptions should probably use another option for monitoring their intensity.

There are some other very good ways to measure intensity for both people taking medications or those just looking for a more convenient method. Two good options are the Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) method and the Talk Test.

RPE

This takes into account what the exerciser is perceiving in terms of exercise fatigue and it correlates well with cardiorespiratory and metabolic factors like heart rate and overall fatigue. The RPE scale starts with 0 and ends with 10. A rating of 0 equates to doing nothing, being at rest. A rating of 10 is equal to maximum effort, working very, very hard. For moderate intensity, an exerciser should strive for reaching somewhere between a 4-6, which the scale defines as a somewhat hard to a hard effort.

A great way to measure intensity (where appropriate), is utilizing both the RPE and Target Heart Rate Zone. The exerciser should identify where they fall on the RPE scale when their heart rate is between 50 - 70% maximum. This will allow them to accurately use only the RPE scale for measuring intensity when it is not feasible to determine their THR.

Talk Test

The final method for measuring exercise intensity is the Talk Test. Like the RPE, the talk test is subjective. The exerciser simply ensures that he works out at a level where he can carry on a comfortable conversation. He should be able to breathe comfortably during exercise. In simple terms, the exerciser would be working out too hard if he has to take a breath between every word he says. On the flip side, he would be exercising at too easy of an intensity if he could sing several phrases of a song without breathing hard.

Now you know how to define "moderate" and that means you don't have any more excuses. It's time to get moving. Keep in mind that the ACSM guidelines are minimum recommendations. For more significant health improvements and/or weight loss or for more advanced exercises, consider increasing any part of the three recommendations found in their guideline.

About The Author

Lynn Bode, certified personal trainer, offers her services online through WorkoutsForYou.com. Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for a free sample workout and to sign-up for their monthly fitness newsletter. Workouts For You provides affordable online exercise programs custom designed for each individual. You'll receive weekly customized workouts designed just for YOU, plus much more!

info@workoutsforyou.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Mashable

Plus-size women are using exercise as activism, and it's glorious
Mashable
“People are constantly saying that fat people need to exercise, but once you leave the house in some Spandex they will take the opportunity to 'moo' at you from their car,” says Chastain, a dancer who has run in several marathons and is currently ...



Exercise after giving birth has many benefits
The Oshkosh Northwestern
Exercise after pregnancy can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Exercise after giving birth has many benefits, including: weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, restored muscle strength and tone, restored condition ...



fox6now.com

Three-day disaster exercise: First responders simulate E5 tornado that's ...
fox6now.com
WAUKESHA — Nearly 700 Wisconsin National Guard troops partnered with the city of Waukesha Police Department and civilian emergency responders to conduct a full-scale disaster exercise in Waukesha beginning Friday, August 28th. When disaster ...

and more »


1011now

NEMA, Military Move from Joint HQ in Disaster Exercise
1011now
According to the Nebraska National Guard, "the exercise is designed to test the department's Joint Force Headquarters staffs' ability to provide critical support to civil authorities while maintaining its ability to perform its federal mission ...

and more »


U.S. News & World Report

Don't Let the Scale Hijack Your Exercise Plans
U.S. News & World Report
You step on the bathroom scale. For a split second – before the verdict registers – you think the number has to be lower than the last time you weighed in. It's not. Your next thought: Why am I exercising? OK, whether that's your next thought, for many ...



TIME

Working Out Doesn't Keep Your Brain Young: Study
TIME
In a study published in JAMA, Dr. Kaycee Sink, director of the memory assessment clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and her colleagues come to the somewhat surprising conclusion that exercise doesn't help elderly to maintain their brain function.
Study: Exercise Doesn't Help Maintain Brain Function As You AgeCBS Local
Study: Exercise May Help Older Adults Think More ClearlyKEYC

all 8 news articles »


Registration opens for NT exercise programs
Niagara Frontier Publications
The North Tonawanda Department of Youth, Recreation and Parks has announced a number of upcoming exercise programs. •The department is now accepting registration for the next body conditioning exercise session. The classes will be held from 5:30 to ...



Robins Rev Up

In the Boar's Nest: JSTARS hosts large joint-force exercise: integrates with Navy
Robins Rev Up
8/28/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The 116th Air Control Wing hosted the eighth annual Boar's Nest Large Force Exercise involving more than 20 joint-force units and 55 different aircraft for aircrew training in a realistic threat environment ...



CBS News

Do fish oil and exercise boost brain power?
CBS News
Neither exercise nor supplements such as fish oil seem to do much to help keep older folks mentally sharp, two new studies found. The reports, published Aug. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, cast doubts on two strategies purported ...
Exercise, Supplements May Not Keep Elderly SharperWebMD

all 6 news articles »


KING5.com

Underfueling exercise could affect ability to gain muscle
KING5.com
The most common culprit I see is underfueling of exercise. Team sports burn 500-1000 calories an hour depending on how hard an athlete works and how fit they are. It can be tough to consume enough food to stay in what we call a 'positive energy balance'.


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.