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Exertion is your level of effort during exercise. It tells you how hard your heart is working. Your goal is to exercise at a level that's safe but helpful to your heart. You can measure effort in two ways:
Target heart rate is the number of heartbeats per minute to aim for during exercise. Ask your health care provider or cardiac rehab specialist how to calculate yours.The Borg RPE scale lets you gauge how hard you feel you're working.
The numbers on the Borg RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale reflect how much effort you feel you're making during exercise. Ask your provider or rehab team what level you should aim for.
How it feels
No exertion at all
To check your heart rate, gently press 2 or 3 fingers to the inner side of your wrist and count the number of heartbeats you feel in 10 seconds then multiply the number by 6. This is your heart rate.
Stop exercising and tell your provider or rehab team member if you have any of these symptoms:
Tightness or pain in your chest, arm, or jaw (Call 911!)
Pain, discomfort, burning, tightness, heaviness, or pressure in your chest, shoulders, arm, neck, or jaw
Unusual shortness of breath
A racing or skipping heartbeat
Lightheadedness, dizziness, or nausea
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