Your Pulse And Target Heart Rate
Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. Your pulse is your heart rate, or the number of times your heart beats in one minute. This varies from person to person, and it might also vary throughout the day. Your pulse is lower when you are at rest, and it increases when you exercise.
How To Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
While smartwatches of all kinds will monitor your average resting heart rate for you, you dont need anything that fancy. It just takes a clock or stopwatch and two fingers.
Step 1: Make sure youre sitting or lying down quietly and at rest before you begin.
Step 2: With your palm facing up, take the index and middle finger from the other hand, and place your fingers on the top of the thumb side of your wrist, right near where you would wear a watch . You should be able to find your pulse. However, you can also place two fingers on the side of your neck , around one inch below your jawbone , if thats easier for you.
Step 3: Now that you have found your pulse, count your pulse for 30 seconds using a clock on the wall, a stopwatch, or any other accurate timer.
Step 4: Once 30 seconds has ended, multiply the number of beats by two. That will tell you your resting heart rate.
Repeat this process at least a few times to get your average resting heart rate . If you dont mind math, you can also count heartbeats for just 10 seconds and multiply the number by 6 or for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
Adjusting Your Activity Level
Once youve determined your ideal heart rate for exercise, its important to use this information to help keep the intensity level of your workouts in check.
Slow down your pace and effort level if your heart rate during activity is higher than it should be based on your doctors instructions and the guidelines above. If its lower that it should be, work harder to ensure that youre getting the benefits of the exercise.
Start slowly during the first few weeks of working out, aiming for the lower end of your target zone. You can then build up gradually to the higher end of your target zone.
With a little practice and guidance from your healthcare team, youll soon be able to make the most of your exercise routine by measuring your ideal heart rate.
Recommended Reading: Can Iron Supplements Cause Heart Palpitations
Normal Heart Rate After Exercise: What You Heart Rate After Training Should Be Plus What It Says About You
During exercise, your heart rate increases as your heart pumps more oxygen to your muscles. However, after you are done, your heart rate should drop. Would you like to know what is the normal heart rate after exercise, and why do you need to track it? Our comprehensive guide on what your heart rate is telling you throughout training will answer this. In this read, find out what normal resting, active, and after exercise heart rates should be for your age!
How Do You Know Your Heart Rate
Your heart rate is a measure of how fast your heart beats and is also an important indicator of good health. Your doctor will always make it a point to measure your heart rate whenever you visit him for your routine health checkup or any health-related problem.
While the heart rate is routinely examined by your doctor, you can also measure your heart rate. With the help of your middle finger and index finger, you have to first try to feel and locate your pulse at any of the following places
- The inner side of your elbow
- The base of the toe
- The side of your neck
The wrist is the most commonly used and convenient place to check your heart rate. Once you locate the pulse on your wrist, you have to gently press on it for 60 seconds and count the beats. This is how you will know your heart rate, which will be in beats per minute.
Recommended Reading: Does Tylenol Increase Heart Rate
Arrhythmia Tachycardia And Other Conditions
A number of conditions can affect your heart rate. In general, an “arrhythmia” describes a heart rate that’s too fast, too slow or irregular.
While bradycardia describes when the heart rate is too low, tachycardia describes when one’s heart rate is too high, which generally means the resting heart rate exceeds 100 bpm, according to the National Institutes of Health . This generally occurs when electrical signals in the heart’s upper chambers fire abnormally.
If the heart rate is closer to 150 bpm or higher, it is a condition known as supraventricular tachycardia . In SVT, the electrical system that controls heart rate becomes dysfunctional. This generally requires medical attention.
What Is A Normal Resting Heart Rate
According to Mayo Clinic, a normal resting heart rate for healthy adults should range from 60 to 100 beats per minute . Experts acknowledge that a lower resting heart rate implies that your heart function is more efficient and has better cardiovascular fitness . You will find that a seasoned athlete can have a normal resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute .
Keep in mind that other factors besides your fitness and activity levels affect your heart rate. They include your age, body size, emotions, medications, body position, and lifestyle habits like smoking .
An unusually high normal resting heart rate indicates an underlying problem. Knowing this, consult your doctor if you have a resting heart rate that consistently reads 100 beats per minute . This rapid heart rate is known as tachycardia.
Similarly, talk to your doctor if you have a resting heart rate of below 60 beats per minute , yet you are not a seasoned athlete . This is also alarming and is characterized by signs such as shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting .
Read Also: What Is Target Heart Rate Definition
Use A Heart Rate Monitor
Heart rate monitors with a chest strap are more accurate than taking your pulse. They transmit the data to a wrist unit or a mobile app so you can see your heart rate throughout your workout.
As prices increase, models include many other features, such as tracking your heart rate zones, stopwatch features, calories burned, and more. Different heart rate monitors have pulse monitors where you place one or two fingers on a sensor for a reading.
Many heart rate monitors offer the ability to pre-program multiple heart rate zones. This is beneficial if you do different intensity workouts because then you won’t have to reprogram it each time. Some will even tell you how long it takes to return to your resting heart rate.
Exercising With Too Low Heart Rate
It is normal for your heart rate is to go up or increase when you are performing exercises. Your heart rate will even go higher when you do cardio exercises.
This is a natural response as your body tries to take in and transport more oxygen during aerobics. The result is an overall healthy and fit body.
However, if your heart rate doesnt increase as it should during your cardio workouts then it can be a result of a heart problem.
Ideally, you should reach about 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate during exercises. Something might be wrong if this is not the case.
You May Like: Where Does Oxygenated Blood Enter The Heart
How Do I Find My Target Heart Rate
To find your target heart rate zone, you first have to know your max heart rate. The simplest way to determine that is to subtract your age from 220. That number is a general guideline for your max heart rate. Then multiply that number times the percentage listed in the exercise heart rate zone you want to be in.
For example, a 40-year-old woman has a max heart rate of 180 beats per minute . To exercise in the lower-intensity zone, multiply 180 times 50% or 60%. The target heart rate would range from 90 to 108 for a low-intensity workout.
Some exercise machines like treadmills automatically track your heart rate for you. But you can also track it yourself by wearing a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker.
What heart rate is too high?
Anything over your max heart rate is unsafe. But its also about duration, says Travers. You can do short bursts in a higher, more intense heart rate zone. Overall, though, its best to spend longer periods in a zone below your max heart rate.
What Should My Heart Rate Be When Exercising
- 220 – 70 = 150
- 150 / 6 = 25
- 25 x 0.50 = 12.5
- 25 x 0.85 = 21.25 .
To perform a cardio respiratory workout, your heart rate should be 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. You can use a basic formula to determine your maximum heart rate for safe exercise. Subtract your age from 220. For example, a 30-year-old has a maximum heart rate of 220-30 = 190. His target heart rate for cardio respiratory exercise would then be 114-152 . It is recommended that you consult with your physician before starting cardio respiratory activity if you havent regularly exercised before.
Your exercising heart rate depends on the intensity that you wish to work. First you must determine your maximum heart rate, which is calculated by subtraction your age from 220. . To determine your target heart rate take this number and multiple it by the intensity percentage at which you wish to work. For example, if you are 40 years old and wish to work at a moderate intensity of 70% the formula would look like this:
* 70% = a target heart rate of 126 bpm.
What Is The Normal Heart Rate After Exercise
We have looked at the normal resting heart rate and the active heart rate during exercise. So, now, we will discuss the normal heart rate after exercise.
Again, this rate is highly based on your age and the activity you were performing. The rate will differ because your heart is beating differently as it approaches the normal resting heart rate. So, the normal rate 30 seconds after exercise is not equal to that taken 20 minutes after exercise.
An easier way to measure your heart rate after exercise is to wear a chest monitor or fitness bracelet . You now know that a normal resting heartbeat should range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
If not, you can test your heart rate by counting your pulse rate. Place two fingers between the bone and tendon in your wrist and count the number of beats per 15 seconds. Then, multiply this number by four to get your pulse rate.
This will give you the pulse rate per minute. Again, this is a reflection of your heart rate. You can do this several times to determine your heart rate after exercise.
Before we sign out, let us do a quick run-through of some critical pointers. They are as follows:
Appropriate Exercise Heart Rate For An Average Individual
When you exercise, your heart rate rises due to the heavier work load as well as the increased energy and oxygen consumption by your muscles. Your exercise heart rate is affected by your exercise intensity as well as your physique and age. The typical exercise heart rate should be between 50 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Video of the Day
Don’t Miss: How Many Heart Attacks Can You Have And Live
How Do You Find Your Pulse
The easiest place to find your pulse is in your wrist.
- Turn your hand so that your palm is facing upwards.
- Now place the three middle fingers from your other hand on your wrist in the outside groove below the base of your thumb.
- Press lightly to feel the pulse under your fingers. If you can’t feel anything press slightly harder.
When To See A Doctor
If a higher heart rate is a result of being under stress or consuming a lot of alcohol or caffeine, thats not typically a cause for alarm. However, these situations still warrant a discussion with your clinician, as they can discuss with you how to best address any necessary lifestyle changes.
Meanwhile, adults without an acute condition that might cause an elevated heart rate may also want to contact their doctor if their resting heart rate remains above 100 beats per minute for a few days, says Dr. Tilahun.
If the heart rate is persistently elevated for more than a few days and there is absence of a clear thing that can explain it, that should be a time to talk to your doctor, he says.
Read Also: How To Calculate Target Heart Rate
Exercise And Your Pulse
If you check your pulse during or immediately after exercise, it may give an indication of your fitness level. A heart rate monitor is also useful for recording your heart rate when resting and during exercise.
Aerobic activities such as walking, running and swimming are good types of exercise because they increase your heart and breathing rates.
Dont Miss: Flonase Heart Racing
The Average Exercise Heart Rate For Men
If you are like most men, you probably have an exercise goal to lose weight, increase stamina or improve your cardiovascular health. Knowing your average heart rate while exercising can help you identify your target heart rate range.
Video of the Day
Exercising below your target range slows your progress and going above it leads to overtraining and could be harmful. Consult with your medical practitioner before starting a new exercise regimen.
The average exercise heart rate for men is between 50 and 85 percent of the maximum heart rate. Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
Also Check: How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate Zone
Heart Rate During A High
High-intensity exercises include sprint running, uphill running, uphill skiing or strenuous kickboxing. This type of exercising will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system and lactic acid tolerance. Your heart rate is between 80 and 90 percent of its maximum. During a high-intensity exercise you produce energy by anaerobic respiration, using sugars rather than fats. This leads to lactic acid accumulation and muscle fatigue, so you cannot continue exercising with this intensity for a long duration.
A Tale Of Two Workouts
Researchers compared two workout strategies in healthy adults ages 70 to 77 during a five-year study in Norway .
The moderate-intensity continuous training workout involved exercising for 50 minutes. Participants aimed for a target heart rate of 70% of their estimated maximum heart rate.
The “4×4” HIIT workout, which lasted 43 minutes, followed this pattern:
1. 10-minute warm-up at 60% of maximum heart rate
2. Four minutes of high-intensity exercise at 85% to 95% of maximum heart rate
3. Three minutes of lower-intensity exercise at 60% of maximum heart rate
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 three times, for a total of 4 cycles
5. Five-minute cool-down.
Note: To get a rough idea of your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For 60%, multiply by 0.6 for 85%, multiply by 0.85, and so forth. As an example, the estimated maximum heart rate for a 75-year-old would be 220 75 = 145 60% of that would be 145 × 0.6 = 87.
You May Like: Do Heart Palpitations Go Away
Why Is It Important To Get It Checked
Often an irregular pulse is harmless. However, it’s important to get it checked by a health professional, because sometimes it’s a sign of a heart condition.
The most common kind of heart rhythm condition is atrial fibrillation , which can put you at greater risk of having a stroke. Fortunately, if you have AF, there’s medication you can take to help significantly reduce this stroke risk.
Your doctor can do a simple test called an ECG to further check your irregular pulse.
Lowering A Rapid Heart Rate
Heart rates can spike due to nervousness, stress, dehydration and overexertion. Sitting down, taking slow, deep breaths and rehydrating can help lower your heart rate in these instances.
In the long-term, maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help to lower and then maintain your resting heart rate over time. Smoking cigarettes raises the heart rate, in part due to nicotine’s effects on the circulatory systems blood vessels, so quitting smoking can also help lower one’s heart rate to a healthy range, according to Harvard Health.
To lower your heart rate in a healthy way after exercise, the AHA and Mayo Clinic recommend that you “cool down” by continuing to move for about 5 to 10 minutes, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity compared with the rest of your workout. For instance, Mayo suggests the following cool down activities:
- To cool down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after swimming, swim laps leisurely for five to 10 minutes.
Cooling down after a workout helps gradually bring your heart rate down to pre-exercise levels, thus helping you avoid potential feelings of dizziness or nausea that can occur when the heart rate falls too rapidly. It’s unclear whether including a cool down in your workout helps to prevent muscle stiffness or soreness after exercise, but more research is needed in this area, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Read Also: Are Cramps As Painful As Heart Attacks