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:

Huffington Post

Exercise In Your Teen Years Pays Off, According To New Study
Huffington Post
In the study, researchers asked 75,000 Chinese women ages 40 to 70 whether they exercised when they were between 13 and 19 years old, and if so, how much they exercised. The researchers also examined the women's general lifestyle habits, including ...
Exercise during teens reaps long-term benefits for women, study showsBusiness Insider
Teen Exercise Reduces Cancer Risk by 16% among WomenYouth Health Magzine
Exercise In Teen Years Reduces Adult Women's Cancer RiskReliaWire

all 124 news articles »


Logistics skills focus of Alameda exercise
Monterey County Herald
The soldiers, nearly all reservists, were taking part in “Big Logistics-Over-The-Shore, West,” a two-week training exercise that began July 25. Along with the former Alameda Naval Air Station, which closed in April 1997, the exercise is taking place at ...
Photos: Army Reserves take part in “Big Logistics-Over-The-Shore West ...San Jose Mercury News media center

all 14 news articles »


SCNow

Exercise believed to help lower Alzheimer's risk
SCNow
There are many different risk factors that are linked to Alzheimer's, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Having a regular exercise routine and a health diet can help with all of these and lower the risk of getting ...



Richmond Register

How to fight the summer exercise slump
Richmond Register
As temperatures soar into the 90s during the dog days of summer, it's easy to fall off the exercise wagon by staying on the couch enjoying the air conditioning — but don't do it. There are many ways to beat the heat. All you need is a strategy. Read ...



Wausau Daily Herald

Set kids up for healthy life by encouraging exercise
Wausau Daily Herald
With the abundance of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension in American society, it is more important than ever for those under age 18 to embrace the physical and psychological benefits of regular exercise. With one of its key mission items ...
Kids benefit from a lifetime of exerciseGreeley Tribune

all 2 news articles »


Rescue exercise shows drones more than just a hobby
WWMT-TV
Rescue exercise shows drones more than just a hobby. Updated: Sunday, August 2, 2015. Rescue exercise shows drones more than just a hobby story image. ALBION, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Drones, flying high in the sky, have been a hot-button issue ...



Flag-guarding friendships could spur exercise effort
Colorado Springs Gazette
Weston, who served in the Oregon National Guard in Iraq said troops leaving the military often abandon exercise - a key coping mechanism. "When you're in the military, working out is the one thing that's guaranteed every day," he said. Lift For The 22 ...



WBUR

NFL Youth Exercise Program: Healthy Fun Or Marketing Ploy?
WBUR
The NFL “Play 60″ program encourages children to exercise for 60 minutes a day, but one child advocacy group says the downsides outweigh the benefit. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP). NFL training camps are getting started after what's been a tough year or so ...

and more »


Bleacher Report

Liverpool's Win in Helsinki a Pleasing Fitness Exercise Ahead of Premier League
Bleacher Report
With a week until Liverpool's first match of the new Premier League season, Brendan Rodgers will feel pleased after his side's comfortable 2-0 victory over HJK Helsinki on Saturday. Bar some selection dilemmas still to be solved, the team that lined up ...

and more »


Four national guardsmen injured in training exercise
El Paso Times
Four soldiers from the Texas National Guard were injured during a training exercise at Fort Bliss, officials said. The soldiers were in a Humvee just before 3 p.m. Friday when the vehicle rolled, Fort Bliss officials said. The soldiers were taken to ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.