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Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to Know the Intensity Level of Work Out

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 8:00 PM Comments

Scientists recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, spread over the week days.
Exercise can be for any purpose, starting with to maintain good health to cut down excess weight or improve performance of heart.

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But, whatever may be the reason for exercise, it has to remain in a recommended zone of intensity for the stipulated time of 150 minutes per week to achieve maximum out of it.
This can be simply known from the target heart rate. One can have maximum heart rate (MHR) without danger, which can be calculated by subtracting one’s age from 220, though that is a rough estimate. It does not require to be very perfect also.
For moderate-intensity physical activity, a person's target heart rate should be 50 to 70 percent of MHR, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vigorous exercisers should aim for 70 to 85 percent.
For academic purpose intensity level of work out can be calculated by METS (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) that measures energy consumption and another is VO2, which measures oxygen uptake.
But for easy and good working purpose of public, it's easier to talk about percentage of maximum heart rate.
Modern treadmills, elliptical trainers, and other cardio machines can tell the heart rate in use and level of intensity of work out, if fed with one’s correct age.
Getting into that range is more important than worrying about calories burned. Training zone is tied to age because as the heart gets older becomes less efficient; and so beats faster to cope with the amount/intensity of work.
But as heart gets trained the musculature become more fit and efficient to tackle same amount of work with a lower heart rate; and quickly recovers to the resting heart rate. And, that is why sports persons have comparatively lower heart rate than persons without sports activity.
Another way to check the intensity of workout is by the sing-talk test. It's a very satisfactory way of knowing the intensity of work out without going into all nitty-gritty of calculations.
During moderately hard exercise one can still carry on a conversation be with a little difficulty, but cannot sing; if one cannot talk too, he is moving into vigorous intensity zone.
And, if one is able to both chat and carries a tune, then he has not gone up to the desired moderate level.

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