Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) can help you measure how hard your body is working when you exercise.
Using a scale from 6 to 20, you choose a rating number to describe how hard the activity feels. You base the number on how tired you are, how hard it is to breathe, and how hard it is to do the activity.
For most people, working at a moderate (RPE 12 to 13) to vigorous (RPE 14 to 17) 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 you start an exercise program.
Very, very light
Very light (You feel comfortable.)
Somewhat hard (You feel tired but you can keep going.)
Very hard (You feel very tired, and you are pushing yourself to keep going.)
Very, very hard (This is like the hardest exercise you have ever done.)
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Current as of: May 5, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Heather O. Chambliss, PhD, FACSM - Exercise Science