Perceived Exertion Scale
When exercising, it's important to monitor your intensity to make sure you're working at a pace that is challenging enough to help you reach your goals, but not so hard that you injure yourself. You can do this by measuring your heart rate but the fastest way is to use a Perceived Exertion Scale. The idea is that on a scale of say 1-10, you mentally measure how you feel. In general, for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5. If you're doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8. As you'll see below, working at a level 10 isn't recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your exertion at Level 5 or lower.
- Level 1: No exertion at all. At rest
- Level 2: Comfortable pace, like slow walking which you could continue for hours.
- Level 3: Comfortable pace, and pace of breathing has increased.
- Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
- Level 5: Less comfortable, with noticeable sweat but still able to talk.
- Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
- Level 7: Can talk but it's difficult.
- Level 8: Unable to carry on a conversation, and can only do short periods at this level.
- Level 9: Heart is very rapid and feel unable to continue.
- Level 10: Really not a healthy level at any time.