Calculating Your Heart Rate Zones
To calculate your maximum and target heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220. A 20-year-old runner, for example, would expect a maximum heart rate of 200. According to the American Heart Association, the target heart rate for moderate intensity activities should be 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate and 70 to 85 percent for vigorous activities. That’s about 100 to 170 beats per minute for a 20-year-old.
It’s important to note: Age, sex, stress levels and certain medications can affect your heart rate and safe rate zones. If you’re taking a medication that affects your heart rate, your doctor can help you develop a safe exercise routine.
Wearing an activity tracker makes it easy to monitor your heart rate during your run, but if you don’t have a wearable, you can check it manually, too. First, use the tips of your index and middle fingers to locate your pulse on the inside of your wrist. Then, count your heart beats for 30 seconds and multiply by two to determine beats per minute.
Surprising Benefits Of Walking
The next time you have a check-up, don’t be surprised if your doctor hands you a prescription to walk. Yes, this simple activity that you’ve been doing since you were about a year old is now being touted as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of course, you probably know that any physical activity, including walking, is a boon to your overall health. But walking in particular comes with a host of benefits. Here’s a list of five that may surprise you.
1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.
2. It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.
Improving Heart Rate While Running
If your heart rate reading is too rapid or you begin to feel dizzy, nauseated or breathless during your run, there are steps you can take to bring it down to a safe, comfortable range.
Reduce your intensity. Slowing your pace or taking walking breaks between intervals can help you catch your breath, so your body can more efficiently deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart, organs and muscles. As you decrease intensity, aim for the lower range of your target heart rate, or about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can also try the “talk test” if you’re able to speak without difficulty, you’ve lowered your intensity to a safe level.
Practice deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing, often referred to as “belly breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing,” has been shown to slow the heartbeat and reduce blood pressure. If your heart rate is too high, stop running, find a comfortable place to sit down and try breathing deeply through your nose until your belly expands, then exhaling through your nose or mouth. Repeat until your heart rate has slowed.
Read More:Benefits of Deep Breathing
Avoid Stimulants Before a Run. Stimulants, like caffeine or nicotine, and alcohol can contribute to dehydration, which can put additional stress on the heart. If you must have your morning cup of coffee before your run, be sure to rehydrate by drinking 8 ounces of water before you leave, and 6 to 8 ounces every 20 minutes during your run.
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What Is An Average Resting Heart Rate By Age
When you are resting -;whether sitting or lying down -;you can check your resting heart rate. Provided that you have not smoked, consumed coffee, or exercised vigorously an hour before. Activities such as smoking, having coffee, loud noises, and vigorous physical activity make your heart beat faster for a while, and so you might not get your exact resting heart rate. And hence this may interfere with the correct heart rate.
Average resting heart rate by age:
Children : 70-100 beats per minute
Adults :; 60-100 beats per minute
When Your Heart Rate Spikes
Sometimes, your pulse might jump up for a little while. Most of the time, you heart will slow down naturally. If not, or if it happens regularly, these things can help get that number down.
Vagal maneuvers: These physical actions can reset your heart rate. For example, hold your nose and breathe out of your mouth. Itâs similar to when you want to pop your ears when youâre on an airplane. Or you can put your face in ice-cold water for several seconds or cough forcefully.
Medication: Your doctor may prescribe it to help treat an abnormal heart rate. Things like beta-blockers may help prevent future episodes.
Catheter ablation: Sometimes the cause of your racing pulse may be an extra electrical pathway in the heart. Your doctor would perform this procedure, which makes it so the extra circuit no longer sends signals. It doesnât require surgery. Usually, this is suggested only when medicines don’t work.
American Heart Association: âKnow your target heart rates of exercise, losing weight and health,â “Tachycardia: Fast Heart Rate,â “Ablation for Arrhythmias.”
CDC: âHealth Effects of Cigarette Smoking.â
Circulation: âFish Consumption is Associated with Lower Heart Rates.â
The Heart Foundation: âYour Heart Rate.â
âWhatâs a normal resting heart rate?â
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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 over your wrist below the base of your thumb.
- Press lightly to feel the pulse under your fingers. If you can’t feel anything press slightly harder.
What’s A Normal Heart Rate
Most adults have a resting heart rate;between 60;and 100bpm.
The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be. For example, athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm, or lower.
See a GP to get checked if you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, although it;may simply be that this is normal for you.
Visit the British Heart Foundation for more information on checking your pulse.
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Sports And Fitness Watches
Sports watches usually have built-in heart rate monitors, so the process is the same. However, you must also be wary of the accuracy of these sport watches, as heart rate monitors are definitely the most accurate tools. Research has found that sports watches get less and less reliable as you run faster.
Slowing A Chronically High Heart Rate
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Healthy Hearts Recover Fast
If you are healthy and fit, your heart will recover quickly after exercise, promptly returning to a lower rate. If you are out of shape, however, youre likely to be huffing and puffing after a workout, while your heart rate stays high for a longer time. You can assess this by measuring your heart rate recovery the difference between your beats per minute;when exercising vigorously and your beats per minute;one minute after stopping exercising.
To find your HRR, exercise at a high intensity for a few minutes. High-intensity exercise is when you cant say more than three or four words without significant effort, and are breathing mostly through your mouth, Dr. Sinha says. Stop exercising and immediately measure your heart rate, then again one minute later. A decrease of 15-25 beats per minute;in the first minute is normal. The higher the number of decrease, the fitter you are.
The difference between those two numbers can also tell you something about your risk of dying from a heart attack, Dr. Sinha adds. Studies show that if it drops by 12 or fewer beats in that one minute after exercise, you have a higher risk of death from heart disease.
The Evidence Suggests: Intervals Rock
But how high does the heart rate need to go and for how long do you need to keep it up? There is some;evidence to support the superiority of interval training;as a tool for permanently lowering the RHR. In practice, this means alternating intensive workouts with either easier ones or with periods of rest.
Indoors this could mean plyometric exercises or a workout that mixes high-cardio exercises like high-knee jogging, jumping jacks, or tuck jumps with, for example, bodyweight strength training moves like push-ups or sit-ups.
Wearing;a heart rate monitor;can be helpful and serve as an unbiased friend that tells you if you indeed are pushing yourself enough in the cardio and whether the strength moves are sufficient for dropping the beats.
Interval training does not necessarily need to take place indoors. A great way to get fresh air as well as some serious heart-healthy exercise is to hop on a bicycle or hit the trails.;If youre serious about shooting for the heart rate peaks, dont walk up the hills sprint to the top! If you feel like you could build some more strength, try these plyometric exercises to tackle hill running.
What if interval training just isnt your thing?
Whatever exercise it is that you do, you are actively making your heart a whole lot happier and healthier.
If you liked this post, dont forget to share so that others can find it, too.
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Foods That Lower Heart Rate Could Save Your Life
The bottom line is that an elevated heart rate can signal a serious heart problem, with possible complications including frequent fainting, heart failure, and blood clots. These all can lead to stroke or heart attack, and in rare cases, sudden death also may occur.
Ventricular tachycardia is another complication where the ventricles of the heart beat faster than normal, and this can lead to dysrhythmias and problems with the blood pumping efficiently throughout the brain and body.
That is why therapies and foods that help regulate heart rate are important. Vagal maneuvers, deep breathing, yoga, acupuncture, and regular exercise can all help lower your heart rate in the moment and over the long term. Some of the key foods for heart rate regulation include turmeric, garlic, spinach, avocado, bananas, nuts, seeds, beans, and other legumes. Keep this in mind if you have problems with an irregular heartbeat.
How Do I Check My Resting Heart Rate
To check your heart rate:
- Sit down and rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn your wrist so your palm is facing up.
- Feel for a pulse at thumb side of your wrist.
- Once you feel it, count how many times you feel a beat in 30 seconds. Then double it.
If you cant find your pulse at your wrist, put 2 fingers on the side of your neck, next to the windpipe.
If you still cant find a pulse, ask someone else to feel it for you.
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What Are Heart Palpitations
A heart palpitation is when you suddenly become aware of your heart beating, usually in an irregular way. Sometimes you can feel it in your ears or your chest when youre lying down. Your heart beat may feel:
- too fast or slow
- like its fluttering
- like its thudding, or pounding.
It is not unusual to feel heart palpitations occasionally and mostly they are harmless. However if youre experiencing them on a regular basis, see your doctor.
How Do You Calm A Racing Heart
If you think youre having an attack, try these to get your heartbeat back to normal: Breathe deeply. It will help you relax until your palpitations pass. Splash your face with cold water. It stimulates a nerve that controls your heart rate. Dont panic. Stress and anxiety will make your palpitations worse.
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Can I Lower My Heart Rate Through Training
First find your true maximum heart rate through a variety of tools
Question: How do I train to lower my pulse? I run 4 times per week, one of them is a long run . I wear Polar FT1 watch and my pulse is never under 130 when jogging. Even if I take walking breaks it goes down to 126 minimum. When I then start jogging, very carefully and slowly, it pumps up again. I want to be able to run faster with this pulse. Thank you in advance.
From Keitlin: I know my max pulse and the zones as I have visited a sports doctor and did the test a year ago. I am “in trouble” while doing my workout between the correct zone. I am not questioning the zones, but how to stay in the aerobic zone. My aerobic zones pulse is 130-155 bpm. When I run I never get below 140 bpm.
Thank you in advance!Keitlin;
Response: I’m sorry that I can’t provide something more useful than to say that if you want a lower HR, just slow down. If you are convinced that you have the right THR zones, then your pace has to vary. As pace slows down or speeds up, your perception of effort also varies from hard to easy. ;;As you will find out, everyone in the world always thinks that real easy efforts at 60-65% on recovery days is TOO SLOW. In fact, most runners complain that it “hurts” their legs to go so slowly.;If it is important enough for you to train correctly and to listen to your HRM, then you will get used to it.;Coach Benson;
Which Factors Can Influence Heart Rate
Many things can affect your heart rate, including:
- physical activity if youve been moving around a lot, your heart rate will increase
- fitness level your resting heart rate may be lower if youre very fit
- air temperature on hot days, your heart needs to pump more quickly
- emotions such as feeling stressed or overly excited
- medicines some can decrease your resting heart rate , while others can increase it
- age with age, the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and can be a sign of a heart problem.
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A Range Of Heart Rates
The average heart rate for a resting person is between 60 and 80 beats per minute. According to Kravitz, a well-conditioned athlete, such as a professional cyclist or a marathon runner, could have a resting heart rate below 40 beats per minute, and a sedentary, unconditioned adults heart rate could exceed 100 beats per minute. A womans resting heart rate will average eight to 10 beats per minute higher than a similarly conditioned man.
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How To Lower Your Heart Rate With Exercise
High-Intensity Interval Training is a training method where you give 100% effort in a quick, intense burst of exercise, followed by a short resting period. HIIT increases your maximum heart rate and lowers your RHR.
HIIT is as simple as doing one exercise, like sprinting, as fast as you can safely run for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds.
Warm-up first and start with one rep.
Rest for several days in between HIIT days. Build up slowly to a workout of several reps that only takes about 15 minutes. Then try adding new exercises.
For the best results, dont set an arbitrary time. Instead, push yourself to your max. And then rest and recover until youre ready to give 100% again. For instance, give 100% effort for 15 seconds and rest for five minutes.
Learn more about the health benefits of HIIT and how to do it the right way in this short HIIT video from Thomas DeLauer.
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