Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion

How hard do you exercise? One way to gauge how hard you exercise is to use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. The Borg Scale takes into account your fitness level: It matches how hard you feel you are working with numbers from 6 to 20; thus, it is a “relative” scale. The scale starts with “no feeling of exertion,” which rates a 6, and ends with “very, very hard,” which rates a 20. Dr. Gunnar Borg, who created the scale, set it to run from 6 to 20 as a simple way to estimate heart rate—multiplying the Borg score by 10 gives an approximate heart rate for a particular level of activity.

As an example, just say you were walking through the shops or other activities that require some effort but not enough to speed up your breathing.  This would rate on the scale as feeling fairly light and have an effort level of 11-12

So now let’s look at brisk walking or other activities that require moderate effort and that speed up your heart rate and breathing but don’t make you out of breath.  This would rate on the scale as feeling somewhat hard and have an effort level of 13-14.

Cycling, swimming, or other activities that take vigorous effort and get the heart pounding and make breathing very fast, would rate on the scale as feeling hard and have an effort level of 15-16.

If loosing body fat is your goal, in a 30minute workout you would need to have at least 3 spikes at effort level 15-16 which you would try to sustain for a 30-60seconds each.  Most of your workout though, would be at 13-14 with a 3-5 minute warm up and cool down at level 11-12.

Understanding how to achieve your goals often takes some coaching and advice from someone like me. This can save weeks, months and sometimes years of frustration. If you’d like to have a free advice session with me or one of the other Personal Trainers at Coffs Coast Health Club give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222.

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