Common Exercise Terms
- Heart Rate (HR): Determine your heart rate by finding your pulse: place a finger on the thumb side of the bottom of your forearm or against the side of your neck, and count your pulse beat for 15 seconds. Multiply this figure by four to calculate your heart rate per minute. Note that as you exercise more regularly, your heart rate should decrease.
- Maximum Heart Rate: Subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximum heart rate. Example: a 40-year-old person would have a maximum heart rate of 180 (220 - 40 = 180).
- Target Heart Rate: Calculated at 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. For the range's lower cutoff point, multiply .60 to your maximum heart rate; for the top cutoff point, multiply .80 to your maximum heart rate. In the previous example, this calculates a range of 108 to 144 beats per minute.
- Blood Pressure (BP): A measure of the blood's pressure upon the arterial walls which consists of two values: systolic blood pressure, as the heart contracts or pumps the blood to the circulatory system (90 to 140 mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure, as the heart fills up with blood following a contraction (60 to 90 mmHg). If possible, have a trained professional monitor your blood pressure throughout the exercise session.
- Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE): This is a scale of how hard you feel you are exercising. The Borg scale ranges from 6 to 20. To use the scale, monitor how you feel while exercising, with a general goal of 12 to 13 RPE.