How to Measure Your Exercise Efforts

May 14, 2021

Exercise and movement are critical to a well-balanced health plan. However, measuring all of that movement in correlation with your personal fitness goals can be difficult. Here are a few ways to measure your efforts during exercise so that your hard work never goes in vain. 

Target Heart Rate 

Are you doing enough during your workouts to achieve your personal fitness goals? Your target heart rate (THR) is an easy way measure if you are in the zone that will support your goal achievement. Your THR depends on age, health condition, and fitness level. Some medications can have an impact on how you calculate your THR. In order to determine your improvement in health condition, it is important to know your resting heart rate and to time how quickly your heart rate recovers after vigorous to intense exercise. 

Calculator for THR: 220-age=____X effort %=THR

Rate of Perceived Exertion 

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is how hard you feel like your body is working during exercise. It is based on the physical sensations you experience during physical activity, including increased heart rate, respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, muscle fatigue, and the ability to carry on a conversation. Your target RPE depends on your personal health goals. 

Rate of perceived exertion scale

1: Rest to very light activity, none to very easy effort, sustainable long term

2-3:  Light activity manageable for hours, easy to breathe and carry conversation

4-5: Moderate activity, can hold short conversation but begin to notice the challenge, breath begins to shorten

6-7: Vigorous activity, can speak a sentence, breath shortens, borderline uncomfortable

8-9: Very hard activity, difficult to maintain intensity, speak a few words, difficulty breathing, tough to sustain long term

10: Max effort activity, short burst manageable, breathless feeling, unable to talk

Medical Disclaimer: You should always consult your doctor about your desired measure for safe and effective application for your fitness goals. 

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– Casey Edmonds, CHWC, CPT, CMS

Health Advisor | Email Casey

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