Optimize Your Workouts with Exercise Intensity

By Jeff Quinn

Optimize Your Workouts with Exercise Intensity

To get the most from your workout you need to know how to gauge your exercise intensity. First we have to know what exercise intensity is, and the answer is that it’s how hard the aerobic activity feels to you. It also reflects how hard your heart is working. Being aware of your exercise intensity will help you get the most out of your physical activity program.

There are 2 basic ways for you to measure your exercise intensity.

The first is just gauging how you feel or your perceived exertion. For example, what may seem like a hard run to you might seem like an easy run to someone who is more fit.

The second indicator is your heart rate. The higher your heart rate during exercise, the higher the exercise intensity. You can use a heart rate monitor for an exact reading but just being in tune with your body and level of exertion should do just fine. Your perceived exertion correlates with your heart rate. If you think you’re working hard, your heart rate will likely be elevated.

Vigorous exercise activity feels challenging. You’ve reached this if you can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath. Moderate exercise intensity feels somewhat hard. You can carry on a conversation but you can’t sing. Light exercise intensity feels least. You can carry on a full conversation or even sing.

To get the most from your exercise program, your exercise intensity must generally be at a moderate or vigorous level. For weight loss, the more intense or the longer you exercise, the more calories you burn. Balance is always important. Overdoing it can increase your risk of soreness, injury and burnout. If you're new to regular exercise, you may need to start out at a light intensity and gradually build up to a moderate or vigorous intensity.

“People say that losing weight is no walk in the park. When I hear that I think, yeah, that's the problem.” ~Chris Adams


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Echelon Health and Fitness

1160 White Horse Rd,

Voorhees, NJ 08043

Phone. 856-454-2976