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How hard should I exercise?

By February 27, 2015 No Comments

Starting a new exercise program is challenging. People often wonder: How hard should I be working? Or am I working too hard? Since everyone’s fitness level is different, the answer is based on how you feel.

Ask yourself: “Using a scale from 0 to 10, how would I rate how hard I are working?” Imagine it like this: Zero means you aren’t working at all (I’m lying down watching TV). 10 is the absolute hardest you can work (I’m running as fast as possible up a hill away from a lion chasing me!).

  • 1 and 2: very low to low amounts of exertion.
  • 3 and 4: moderate to strong
  • 5 and 6: strong amounts of effort
  • 7 or greater is very strong up to maximum at 10.

A quick rule to follow: If you can’t talk while you are exercising because you are too out of breath, it is too much.  If you can easily carry on a conversation with someone about the Netflix you binged on last night, it is not challenging enough.

It is recommended that people begin with an effort of 3 or 4 out of 10 for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remember, as you begin to get tired, you’ll need more effort to keep moving at the same speed. So to maintain a 3 to 4 effort, you may need to slow down as you get fatigued to avoid feeling like you are at a 10.

This is a nice way to measure your work as it is geared to how you feel, and as you improve your fitness you’ll have to work harder to achieve the same feel of effort. So it continues to be a good measure, regardless of fitness level.

Are you starting a new exercise routine? Good luck and stick with it! If you haven’t been active, talk to us about having a check up.

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