The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Using Perceived Exertion

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - Perceived Exertion!

What is it?

  1. Perceived exertion is your own description of how hard you are exercising
  2. Perceived exertion is usually described on a scale of 1 to 10 (very, very easy to extremely hard).
  3. Until recently, perceived exertion was found to correlate with actual oxygen consumption, meaning your body is actually working medium hard with medium oxygen consumption when the effort feels medium hard. Perceived exertion scales are becoming ineffective as young people become increasingly unused to exercise and rate almost any minor effort as extremely hard.

It is not an injury when you exercise hard enough to have sore muscles over the next three to four days. It is not an injury when you use your body enough to feel aching effort in your muscles. It is not a respiratory problem when you are out of breath from hard exercise. It is not a medical problem when you are tired at the end of the day. If you have worked hard, being tired enough to sleep is right and needed, and avoids the need for taking medicines to sleep.

Work to increase the effort it takes to become out of breath and feel hard muscular effort. Work to increase the amount of work it takes for you to feel something is moderately hard.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.