How to assess your exercise intensity from the simple to the scientific!
Intensity is the amount of effort required to perform a certain type of exercise.
Here are some ways to assess your exercise intensity, from basic to in-depth:
The Talk Test
How easy is it to talk during the exercise?
- Light intensity: you can have a normal conversation or even sing during exercise ?
- Moderate intensity: you are still able to talk but would struggle with a full conversation; singing is not possible.
- Vigorous intensity: you are unable to say more than a few words.
Measuring Resting and Exercise Heart Rate
First you need to check your Heart Rate while sitting at rest.
We recommend checking your heart rate at the wrist.
(Get a heart rate monitor or learn how to take your own heart rate.)
- Find your radial artery at the wrist, just below the base of your thumb.
- Place the tips of your index and middle fingers (not your thumb) over the artery and press lightly.
- Take a full 60 seconds (timed using a watch) to count the heartbeats.
Note: A healthy 50-year-old should have a resting heart rate somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
- Light aerobic exercise: an increase in heart rate to 30% above your resting value (multiply your resting heart rate by 1.3).
- Moderate aerobic exercise: an increase in heart rate to 60% above of your resting value (multiply by 1.6).
- Vigorous aerobic exercise: an increase in heart rate to 90% above your resting value (multiply by 1.9).
Borg Rating Scale of Perceived Exertion
How tough is the exercise? – Light, Moderate or Vigorous?