How to Set Your Exercise Intensity For More Effectiveness?

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Intensity refers to the difficulty of the exercise With regards to aerobic conditioning, this does not mean harder, more intense levels are better. Moderate intensity levels are almost always more appropriate and enjoyable than high intensity workouts.

The heart rate is the best indicator of exercise intensity, because it is directly related to both oxygen consumed and calories burned. As exercise becomes more intense, requiring more oxygen, heart rate increases. To participate at too low an intensity means you will gain little benefit, if any, from your program. To perform at too high an intensity could mean serious medical complications and sufficient discomfort to discourage you from continuing.

The benefits you gain from physical conditioning are lost just as rapidly when you stop your conditioning program. Thus, for you to be successful in your program, it is necessary for you to establish the level of intensity at which you should be exercising. This is determined on the basis of your endurance capacity as evidenced by results of your physical fitness assessment.

Research has shown that fitness improves when you exercise at a given percentage of your maximum heart rate. You can obtain a substantial “conditioning effect” by exercising at a “comfortable” level which is between 60 and 80 percent of your capacity. Exercising at a level below 60 percent results in little, if any, conditioning, and above 80 percent, the additional gains are small relative to the work required.


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