(CARLSBAD, CA) – Your workout regimen is in place. You’ve been faithfully attending classes, listening to your instructors, and the sweat is pouring off of you. So, how are your results? Do you notice a difference in how you look and feel? If not, then it’s time to gauge the intensity level that you’re putting into your workout.
Intensity is basically a measure of how hard you are working. Keeping tabs on your intensity is imperative if you want to gain the best fitness results. If you waltz leisurely through your workout, it will only frustrate you in the end, when you see a lack of results. At the same time, pushing yourself beyond your safe intensity limits is a recipe for injury and burnout.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests that exercisers check for intensity level about every ten minutes. This way, you’ll know if you’re putting in the right amount of effort to gain results without risking injury.
The three most common methods for measuring workout intensity are target heart rate, the talk test, and rate of perceived exertion.
Target Heart Rate – The Mayo Clinic offers a simple formula to determine your target heart rate. Subtract your age from 220 to find your maximum heart rate. This is the highest limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during exercise. If you multiply that number by 70 percent and 85 percent, you’ll find a safe target heart rate range. Your goal is for your heartbeats per minute to stay within that range.
Talk Test – With the talk test, your ability to speak gauges your intensity level. If you can’t carry on a simple conversation, then you’re working too hard, and you need to slow down. However, if you find yourself discussing the finer points of last night’s Iron Chef episode without missing a beat, then you probably need to step it up a notch.
Rate of Perceived Exertion – Using a scale of 1-10, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is a simple way to measure workout intensity. When you’re relaxing in bed, consider your RPE to be at level one. On the flip side, if you’re sprinting down the street hollering after the last available taxi, you’re probably at level ten. For your workouts, the American Council on Exercise suggests that you stay between a range of three to five on the RPE scale. Novice exercisers will want to spend more time at level three, whereas experienced athletes can log more minutes at an elevated level.
Set a plan to measure your intensity level several times during your next workout. It’s one surefire way to get results.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.