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Measuring the intensity of an activity or exercise workout


The question is often asked how hard should one push themselves in their workout. The answer is a little complex but I will try to simplify it taking into account the guidelines to exercise. 
The focus is on individuals who are normally not very active to begin. It is recommended to talk to your doctor if you are unsure about starting an activity or exercise program.
First and foremost it is important to listen to your body before, during and after an activity or exercise i.e. do you feel weak, unwell or too tired? If so, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

Furthermore if you have not been active for a long time, progress your activity time slowly prior to increasing intensity.
For important health benefits Moderate Intensity workouts of at least 150 minutes a week are recommended i.e. 30 minutes a day, allow for 5- 10 minutes of warm up and 10 minutes of cool down for a total workout time of 50 minutes.
You can measure the intensity of the activity with the Talk Test or by checking your heart rate.
During moderate-intensity activity you can talk but not sing (Talk Test).
You can also check your heart rate to see if it is in the target zone.
The target zone is established as follows:
Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
The maximum heart rate is then multiplied by a range of 50%-70%
Example: 60 y.o       max heart rate 220-60 = 160 bpm
Therefore Target zone is    160bpm x 50% to 70% = 80-112 bpm

Your Action Sport Physio health professional can help you calculate your safe target zone!

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