REDUCING YOUR RISK OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE: IMPROVING YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL – HOW TO JUDGE THE INTENSITY OF YOUR EXERCISE
The intensity level of your exercise should be strenuous enough that you feel you are working, but it need not be exhausting. Exercise physiologists describe exercise intensity in terms of percentage of maximal exercise capacity; the recommend an intensity of 50 to 80 percent of your maximal exercise capacity. You can determine the intensity of your exercise by counting your pulse, using a perceived exertion scale, or using the “talk test.”
Many people exercising on own use their own use their pulse rate to deter whether their exercise is intense enough. Ask your doctor to suggest an appropriate target heart rate for during exercise. The harder you exercise, the higher your heart rate or pulse rate climbs.
Your maximal heart rate decreases with age and is affected by cardiovascular disease and some cardiovascular medications. Regular exercise does not influence your maximal heart rate. Some people with very irregular heart rates cannot use the heart rate method to monitor their exercise intensity.
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