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The heart rate has traditionally been used to estimate exercise intensity. However, evidence shows that a person's own perception of the intensity of his exercise can often be just as accurate as the heart rate in gauging his exercise intensity.

The scale in Figure G-1 lets a soldier rate his degree of perceived exertion (PE). This scale consists of numerical ratings for physical exercise followed by their associated descriptive ratings.

To judge perceived exertion, estimate how difficult it feels to do the exercise. Do not be concerned with any one single factor such as shortness of breath or work intensity. Instead, try to concentrate on the total inner feeling of exertion.

Multiplying the rating of perceived exertion by 10 roughly approximates the heart rate during exercise. For example, a PE of 14, when multiplied by 10, equals 140.

Most soldiers with THRs between 130 and 170 BPM would exercise between a PE of 13 (somewhat hard) and 17 (very hard).

Although either percent of maximum heart rate or perceived exertion may be used during exercise, the most valid method for calculating THR is percent HRR.

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