When one begins an exercise plan, the intensity of the exercise can be figured out exactly in a lab by measuring oxygen levels in the body. But this is not realistic for day-to-day exercise. Three tests can be used by amateur exercise enthusiasts to check an exercise’s intensity. These are the target heat rate, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and the “Talk Test.” Target Heart Rate is found using a formula using the individual’s weight and age. It can be monitored with a heart-rate monitor during exercise. The RPE is subjective as the exercise goes on, based on a scale known as the Borg scale. RPE is determined by thinking about exertion of the whole body, not just what’s being worked on, in order to judge an exercise’s intensity. The “Talk Test” is simply the rate of exercise at which you can still comfortably talk. All three of these indicators taken together can help someone without a lab setting make a reasonably accurate guess.
- 1The easiest and most accurate method for monitoring exercise HR is to wear a HR monitor or to use the monitors that frequently are included in the exercise equipment.
- 2Research has shown that this simple test is a valid measure of what is referred to as the “ventilatory threshold” or, more simply, moderate activity.
- 3Monitoring exercise intensity is an important variable for people at all levels of conditioning.
The easiest and most accurate method for monitoring exercise HR is to wear a HR monitor or to use the monitors that frequently are included in the exercise equipment. Without a HR monitor, you will need to stop exercising for a moment to take your pulse.