Exercising at the correct intensity can help you get the most out of your physical activity — making sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard or not giving enough. Here’s a look at what exercise intensity means and how to maximize your workout.

Exercise intensity is subjective to how hard the physical activity feels while you’re doing it. Your level of exertion may be different than what someone else is feeling doing the same exercise. Exercise intensity can be gauged by two primary factors how you are feeling and your heart rate.


Moderate Intensity Level: This will feel somewhat difficult but still manageable. Your breathing may quicken but you are not out of breath, you may begin to develop a light sweat after 10 minutes of activity and but are still able to hold a conversation

Vigorous Intensity Level: Vigorous activity will feel challenging but not cause physical pain. Your breathing may deepen and become more rapid along with developing a sweat after just a couple of minutes and holding a conversation at this point may be difficult

Overexertion Intensity Level: Beware of overexertion! If you are gasping for air or are in physical pain your exercise intensity is probably higher than your fitness level allows. We recommend you back off a bit and begin to build your intensity gradually.

Evaluating Heart Rates: Another way to gauge your exercise intensity is to measure how hard your heart is beating during physical activity, but to use this method we first have to calculate your maximum heart rate. Your MHR is the limit of what your cardiovascular system can manage during physical activity before possible overexertion or injury

Calculating Max Heart Rate: To calculate your MHR start by subtracting your age from 220 – this will give you your highest threshold that is safe for your body. Once you know your MHR, you are able to calculate your desire target heart rate based upon your target heart rate zone. For most people this is a healthy zone in which your heart is being exercised and conditioned but not being overworked






Maximizing Your Results With Exercise Intensity: You’ll get the most from your workouts if you’re exercising at the proper exercise intensity for your health and fitness goals. If you are not feeling any exertion or your heart rate is too low, it’s time to challenge yourself a bit more or to pick up the pace. If you’re worried that you’re pushing yourself too hard or that your heart rate is getting too high back off a bit and begin to build your stamina safely.

**Before starting a vigorous exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor. He or she may suggest a series of tests to ensure you are healthy enough to do so**

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