Heart Rate Training Zone (cont.)

Perceived Exertion

Heart rate monitoring and training zones aren't for everyone. But don't worry, you can still get a great workout and gain all the benefits of exercise without. All you need to do is listen to your body. You're working out if you feel your heart pumping and you're slightly out of breath. You can also use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion (RPE) to measure intensity. Simply select the number from below that best describes your level of exertion.

    6 No exertion at all
    7
    7.5 Extremely light
    8
    9 Very light
    10
    11 Light
    12
    13 Somewhat hard
    14
    15 Hard (heavy)
    16
    17 Very hard
    18
    19 Extremely hard
    20 Maximal exertion

An exertion level from 13-14 will get you to the middle of your aerobic training zone. For more information about RPE, go to http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/measuring/perceived_exertion.htm.

Summary

Heart rate training zones and heart rate monitoring is:

    1. helpful for individuals who want to stay in their aerobic training zone,

    2. interesting real-time feedback for individuals who like to know how their body responds to exercise, and

    3. important data for athletes who want to get their intervals right.

But even if you never get hooked on the idea of a training zone, you can still get a great workout by listening to your body or using a scale like the RPE. The important point is to get out there and move no matter how you monitor your workout!


Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2007