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Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

Overview

Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) can help you measure how hard your body is working when you exercise. To do this, you monitor yourself as you exercise. For example, you think about how tired you are, how hard it is to breathe, and how hard it is to do the activity.

An RPE is usually used as part of a cardiac rehab program. It's probably most useful to first learn about RPE with a health professional, such as an exercise physiologist or trainer. Then you may be able to use it when you exercise on your own.

For most people, working at a moderate to vigorous level will help you get the most benefit from your exercise. If you have health problems, your RPE goal may be different. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Credits

Current as of: May 12, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Heather Chambliss PhD - Exercise Science