Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | October 21, 2008

Get Fit with F.I.T.T. – Intensity

    Greetings – in my three previous posts, I introduced the F.I.T.T. process as a simple method for developing an exercise regimen that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals in a way that connects with your interests and lifestyle.  I also discussed Time, Type and Frequency.  Today, I discuss the final element of the F.I.T.T. process, Intensity:

Intensity.  This is often the most difficult element for beginning exercisers to figure out.  “How hard should I be exercising?”  My general rule of thumb is that you should keep your exercise intensity at a low to moderate level.  Numerically, this is 40 to 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).  You can get a rough estimate of your MHR by subtracting your age from 220, however a simpler way to do this is to use the ‘talk test’.  You should be able to carry on a conversation while you are exercising.  Once you start working so hard you have trouble speaking, you are probably overdoing it.  Of course, if you are a competitive athlete, you will often work at a much higher intensity level, but for most of us, this is unnecessary.  I will go into greater detail about the Heart Rate Training Zones and how you can use them to manage exercise intensity in my next post.

NEXT POST – October 24, 2008:

The Heart Rate Training Zones

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