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Published on August 16, 2022

Healthy Tips Video: How to Monitor Your Exercise Intensity

Hi, I'm Zack Main here at the Owensboro Health Healthpark, and I'd like to take some time to go over how to monitor your exercise intensity. There are two common methods that help monitor exercise intensity.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

One of those methods are going to be RPE, or rate of perceived exertion. Perceived exertion is how you feel like your body is working out, and it's based on physical sensations that run through your body, including increased heart rate, increased perspiration, or increased respiration.

Target Heart Rate

The next method I'd like to talk about is target heart rate. Target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect on how hard your heart should be beating when you work out. Target heart rate is found by the Karvonen method which takes to 220 minus your age that equals your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is then multiplied by 0.6 through 0.7 in order to get your target heart rate range.

Sample Karvonen Method Calculations

220 - 50 (sample age is 50 years) = 170 (max heart rate)

170 x .6 = 102

170 x .7 = 119

102 to 119= the target heart rate range


These are the two most common methods when doing an evaluation or a fitness assessment. For more information on fitness programs or information, please contact 270-688-5433.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.