Scale of Perceived Exertion
Another way to measure your exercise intensity is to use a "scale of perceived exertion." On a scale of one to 10, where one means you're drooling on your pillow and 10 means you're at death's door, you want to exercise at a stage five or six, squarely in between a nap and a stroke.
There are several official exertion scales out there, but they can be confusing and a little academic. We'll break it down for you in terms that sleep-deprived, brain-addled moms like us can relate to:
Stage 1: You're asleep.
Stage 2: You're sitting on the couch watching television.
Stage 3: You're walking up and down the aisles of your favorite store.
Stage 4: You're walking easily and steadily, starting to sweat a bit, but able to chat with a friend. Example: Walking the dog or taking a not-too-intense yoga class.
Stage 5: You're working harder and sweating steadily, but can still talk if you take a breath before you speak. Example: A fast walk at a steady pace or a hike.
Stage 6: You're breathing in and out with your mouth open, concentrating on your workout. Example: Biking, jogging, step aerobics, or kick boxing.
Stage 7: You're going hard. You can last several minutes, but will need to recover before doing it again. Example: Biking up a steep hill and requiring the downhill coast before pedaling hard again; running up and down stairs or performing jumping jacks.
Stage 8: You're sprinting as fast as you can go. You can last less than 60 seconds. You can't speak an entire sentence.
Stage 9: You're about to pass out.
Stage 10: You're surrounded by paramedics.
For most workouts, if you exercise at stage five or six for about an hour, you'll steadily burn calories without feeling like you've been run over by a truck the next day.
So schedule your three workouts, lace up your shoes, tug on your sports bra, and get to sweatin', mama!Please consult with your physician or healthcare provider before embarking on a new diet or exercise program. Nothing contained on this site should be considered as, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.