How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate With A Field Test
Besides estimations and tests, you can calculate max heart rate by putting on your running shoes, firing up your heart rate monitor, and heading out into the real world.
You wont need fancy laboratory equipment for the field test but youll still get an accurate and personal estimation of your maximum heart rate. The premise is simple: you warm up properly and then do an exercise that brings you close to your maximum effort.
Please note that for a maximum effort field test its best to call a friend and have them join you, just to be on the safe side. Also, make sure you have some hard training under your belt from recent weeks.
When To See A Doctor
A consistently low heart rate is called bradycardia. In healthy young adults or trained athletes, a low heart rate with no other symptoms is usually the sign of a very healthy heart muscle.
However, a low heart rate can be a sign of a serious underlying problem. If your heart rate is lower than 60 bpm and youre experiencing chest pain, call 911. If youre experiencing dizziness, weakness, fainting, or other concerning symptoms, call a doctor.
A consistently high heart rate is known as tachycardia. Its normal to have an elevated heart rate when youre exercising, stressed, anxious, sick, or have consumed caffeine.
Its not normal to have a heart rate over 100 bpm when youre resting, especially if youre also experiencing:
Maximum Heart Rate Calculator
With our HRmax Calculator you can estimate your maximum heart rate based on age and gender. Knowing your own maximum heart rate is important in your own;personal exercise training. It is also of great importance for exercise stress testing to uncover cardiovascular disease. Our calculator will only give a rough estimate, and we also give recommendations on how to find your real maximum heart rate with an exhaustive exercise test.
Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate
The easiest way to do this is a simple paper-and-pencil calculation. Subtract your age from 220. The result is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute.
It’s important to note that this method does not take into account your fitness level or inherited genes, which can make your true maximum heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute higher or lower than the age-predicted number.
A second method to calculate your maximum heart rate is to have an exercise tolerance or stress test. This usually is supervised by a physician and performed in a hospital or clinical setting in three-minute stages, during which the speed and incline continue to increase in an effort to elevate your heart rate until it climbs to its highest level.
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 reduce this stroke risk.
Your doctor can do a simple test called an ECG to further check your irregular pulse.
Target Heart Rate Zone Calculation Methods
- Basic by Age
- This is historically the most common calculation and used by the American Heart Association. THR is calculated by multiplying percent intensity by the MHR. Example: At 70% intensity THR = MHR x 0.70.
- Karvonen by Age & RHR
- This method calculates THR using the Karvonen Equation. MHR is calculated using age and allows you to enter a measured RHR. Example: At 70% intensity THR = x 0.70) + RHR.
- Karvonen by MHR & RHR
- This method calculates THR using the Karvonen Equation and allows you to enter both a measured MHR and a measured RHR. Example: At 50% intensity THR = x 0.50) + RHR. Where MHR – RHR is called your Heart Rate Reserve .
TheAmerican Heart Association recommends target heart rate zones for exercise at 50% to 85% intensity of MHR and defines a heart rate during moderately intense activities at 50-70% of MHR, and heart rate during hard physical activity at 70-90% of MHR.
The Heart Rate Magic Number
On a normal electrocardiogram, there are five large squares per second and 300 per minute. Knowing this, we can calculate the heart rate measuring the R-R interval, providing the rhythm is regular.
Heart rate: 4 large square = 75;bpm
On the EKG, locate a R;wave that matches a thick line, count the number of large squares to the next R;wave. Heart rate is 300 divided by the number of large squares, and thatâs it!
For example: if there is 1 large square between R waves, the heart rate is 300;bpm; two large squares, 150;bpm, three large squares, 100;bpm, fourâ¦ 75;bpm.
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How To Calculate Target And Maximum Heart Rates
You can calculate your target and maximum heart rates using the formula below.
To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Your target heart rate zone is determined based upon your maximum heart rate. You want to stay within 5075 percent of your maximum heart rate during exercise, depending upon your fitness level.
To find your target heart rate, multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.50. This will give you the low range number.
How To Measure Different Kinds Of Heart Rate
There are four different heart rate measurements you should know about. They all have some place in monitoring health and fitness, but your resting heart rate and max heart rate are the two most important.
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Help Your Heart Work Stronger
Cardiovascular exercise is especially effective in keeping your heart healthy and reaching your target heart rate. This specific type of exercise gets your heart beating fast for several minutes at a time.
Target heart rate is defined as the minimum number of heartbeats in a given amount of time in order to reach the level of exertion necessary for cardiovascular fitness, specific to a persons age, gender, or physical fitness.
The following is an estimate given by the American Heart Association for target heart rate numbers for adults ages 45 to 70:
- 45 years: 88 to 149 beats per minute
- 50 years: 85 to 145 beats per minute
- 55 years: 83 to 140 beats per minute
- 60 years: 80 to 136 beats per minute
- 65 years: 78 to 132 beats per minute
- 70 years: 75 to 128 beats per minute
Other Factors That Affect Active Heart Rate
Other factors can influence a persons active heart rate, potentially pushing the rate lower or higher than is ideal. They include:
- Overall health: A persons general health status and current fitness level have a significant influence on heart rate. If a person is not used to exercise, their heart may have to work harder during physical activity, causing their heart rate to be higher.
- Medications: Some medications, such as beta-blockers, can lower the heart rate. However, other medications can raise it.
- Temperature: Heat and humidity can raise the heart rate by about 510 bpm, according to the AHA.
- Emotion: Stress, anxiety, anger, and even happiness can also raise the heart rate.
Getting the heart rate into a healthy range during exercise typically involves exercising in a way that is challenging but not strenuous. There are several ways people can keep track of this metric during exercise, including:
- taking breaks to check the pulse
- wearing a device on the wrist, such as a fitness tracker, that measures heart rate
- using fitness equipment that measures the heart rate
People can also take note of how they feel during exercise. If a persons bpm falls within a healthy range, and they feel that the current level of exercise is acceptable, they can continue as they were.
If the heart rate is too low or too high, people can try adjusting:
Read Also: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
Search For Cardiologists Near You And Schedule Your Next Appointment Today
Have you ever felt your heart beating quickly during a workout and stopped to check your pulse on your wrist or neck? Your pulse determines your heart rate, or how many times your heart beats in one minute. Pulse rates differ from person to person based on various factors, such as weight and activity level. To get the best results, you should exercise below your maximum heart rate in what is referred to as your target heart rate; this will guarantee that you are achieving the ideal intensity level for your goals. Knowing and monitoring your maximum heart rate while you’re active can be a powerful gauge of your intensity level and help you to avoid over- or underexercising.
Heart Rate by Age
The traditional method, also known as HRmax, is a simple way of gauging your maximum heart rate. Start by subtracting your age from 220. Then, use the result to calculate your range.
For example, if you’re 50 years old, the calculation would be: 220 – 50 = 170 . To calculate your heart rate on the high end of the suitable range , multiply 170 by 0.75 to get about 128 beats per minute .
Heart Rate by Age and Gender
Heart Rate by Age and Resting Heart Rate
For example, a 50-year-old with a resting heart rate of 65 would calculate as follows:
- 220 – 50 = 170 for HRmax
- 170 – 65 = 105 for RHR
- + 65 = about 144 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate And Beta Blockers
Our HRmax Calculator asks you to check a box if you use beta blockers. The reason for that is that heart patients and others on beta blockers will have a reduced maximum heart rate.
Beta blockers bind to adrenaline receptors and block access for adrenaline molecules. Adrenaline causes the heart to pump both harder and faster. Hence,;beta blockers reduce the maximum heart rate. The magnitude of the reduction depends on the dosage, so we recommend that you test yourself to find an exact HRmax.
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Calculate Maximum Heart Rate With A Field Test
Its not a coincidence that this comes as number 3. Field tests should only be attempted by athletes with a solid aerobic foundation who know what they are doing. Inexperienced athletes are better off estimating their Max HR and structuring the training process first, before pushing the body to the limit.
Some beginner athletes may not even be able to exercise 20 minutes non-stop, let alone go full gas for that amount of time. This can cause a variety of injuries .
In fact, beginners may not even get the full benefit from the test. The test will require a lot of mental strength , because such level of suffering is hard to maintain.
Beginners will quit or slow down long before they reach their true maximum capacity.
For everyone else tests below are listed in an order of increasing complexity from easiest to more complex.
For optimal results, each of these tests requires total freshness. Avoid scheduling any intense sessions at least 2 days before the test and get enough sleep beforehand.
Also, do a thorough warm up for these sessions, as youre going to go really hard. Most optimal would be to include both:
- 10 minutes of full-body exercises, taking all joints through a full range of motion and
- a 10-15 minute jog with 4×20-second gradual speed pick-ups. Aim to reach & maintain maximum speed for the last 5 seconds.
Obviously, adjust the warmup according to your sport
Part 2 Of 2: Using Your Pulse To Monitor Your Heart Rate
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Activity Tracker Or Smartwatch
Activity trackers are easily the most convenient way to measure your heart rate. They’re relatively inexpensive, they don’t take up a lot of space and they have a substantial battery life. Best of all, activity trackers are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time to get a very accurate measure of your heart rate.
Wearing a Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin or other tracker allows you to measure your heart rate at all times of day: when you’re sleeping, during typical daily activities and during exercise. They then present this data to you in an easy-to-digest way. Activity trackers and smartwatches use optical technology to read the pulse in your wrist. With optical technology, your tracker sends light into your skin and reads the light that bounces back.
What Is Target Heart Rate
- You gain the most benefits and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate is 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. In some cases, your health care provider may decrease your target heart rate zone to begin with 50% .
- In some cases, High Intensity Interval Training may be beneficial. This should be discussed with a healthcare professional before beginning. With HIIT exercise, heart rates zones may exceed 85%.
- Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. Your provider can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that matches your needs, goals and physical condition.
- When beginning an exercise program, you may need to gradually build up to a level that’s within your target heart rate zone, especially if you haven’t exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. You will reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to over-do it!
- To find out if you are exercising in your target zone , stop exercising and check your 10-second pulse. If your pulse is below your target zone , increase your rate of exercise. If your pulse is above your target zone, decrease your rate of exercise.
How Do You Check Your Pulse
You can measure your heart rate manually by checking your pulse. Follow these three steps.
- Find your pulse in your wrist .
- Count each beat for a total time of 30 seconds.
- Double the number of beats you counted. This is your heart rate or pulse, measured in beats per minute.
Also make a note of whether your heart beats at an even or uneven rhythm. A normal heart beats at a steady rhythm like a clock, tick tock tick tock.
Some people like to use a heart rate monitor to measure their heart rate. These monitors are often included in fitness trackers, which are now widely available in sports stores and other retail outlets. However, their accuracy depends on the quality of the device.
The Best Time To Check Resting And Target Heart Rate
Calculating your heart rate is simple, but there are a few tips that can make it easier or more accurate. Its a good idea to check your resting heart rate first thing in the morning before taking medication or drinking caffeine, both of which can speed up your heart rate. You can also check your heart rate during physical activity to make sure youre in your target training zone.
If you want to calculate your resting heart rate, make sure to wait for one to two hours after any physical activity. It can take some time for your heart to return to a normal rate, even after mild exercise. If you forgot to check your resting heart rate before drinking caffeine, try taking it an hour later when the effects subside.
While physical activity can affect your resting heart rate, so can a lack of activity and body position. Dont take your resting heart rate if youve been sitting or standing in one spot for hours. Instead, take a short walk, and then wait one hour before trying to measure your resting heart rate.