What Is Maximum Heart Rate
The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate achieved during maximal exercise. One simple method to calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, uses this formula:
220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate
Example: a 40-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 180 beats/minute.
There are other formulas that take into account the variations in maximal heart rate with age and gender. If you are interested in learning more about these more accurate but slightly more complicated formulas please see these resources:
- Gellish RL, Goslin BR, Olson RE, McDonald A, Russi GD, Moudgil VK. Longitudinal modeling of the relationship between age and maximal heart rate. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May;39:822-9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17468581
- Gulati M, Shaw LJ, Thisted RA, Black HR, Bairey Merz CN, Arnsdorf MF. Heart rate response to exercise stress testing in asymptomatic women: the st. James women take heart project. Circulation. 2010 Jul 13;122:130-7. Epub 2010 Jun 28. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20585008
Your actual maximum heart rate is most accurately determined by a medically supervised maximal graded exercise test.
Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition , always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.
How To Check Your Heart Rate
According to certified personal trainer Marianna Johnson, MSW, a good time to check your heart rate is right after you wake up, while youre still in bed. Johnson, owner of Mind Body Health & Fitness in Falls Church, Virginia, says a midday reading is also fine if taken after a few minutes of rest.
To take your heart rate, place your index and middle finger on your wrist or the side of your neck to locate your pulse. Count the number of beats in a minute.
Start With Your Maximum Heart Rate
Before you endeavor to keep your heart rate inside its target range as you exercise, you must calculate that range. To do so, first determine your maximum heart rate, which fluctuates according to your age. You can find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220. If you’re 45 years of age, for example, you shouldn’t elevate your heart rate to more than 175 beats per minute while exercising.
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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.
How To Monitor Your Heart Rate
Outside of directions from a physician, how often you want to check your heart rate is an individual choice that largely depends on how useful the information is to you, experts said.
Rather than focusing on the fixed heart rate number at a specific moment, it may be better to keep track of trends and observe how your heart rate is changing, said Thomas Allison, director of the Sports Cardiology Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
If you see rather persistent trends in your heart rate up or down, or you see sudden change, that might be of concern, he said, particularly if youre not feeling well.
It may also be helpful to monitor your heart rate if youre starting a new fitness program to gauge improvement and make sure you arent overdoing it, Allison said. We know that with training, with cardiovascular conditioning, your heart rate gets slower, and so you can track your improvement there, he said. If youre over training and working too hard and not getting enough rest, you might see the heart rate drift back up again.
During exercise, Khan said she encourages people to get their heart rate up to at least 50;percent of their estimated maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age.
But dont obsess over your heart rate, Allison said. It may give you a false degree of concern or a false sense of security, he said.
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How Fast Should The Heartbeat Be When Exercising
Whether you exercise with the intention of burning fat or gaining muscle, it’s impossible to overlook the benefits of exercise on your heart. When you strengthen your heart by exercising, you improve the health of this organ and limit your risk of heart disease. Maximizing your workout means raising your heart rate to within a specific zone, but not exceeding it.
How To Lower Heart Rate
If your heart rate is too high there are ways to lower it safely. Your heart rate could be high after exercising or because youre feeling stressed or anxious.;
Here are some fast-acting methods that can help lower a fast heart rate:
- Breathing exercises: You can use your breathing to raise the aortic pressure in your heart, which will lower your heart rate. To do this, close your mouth and nose and raise the pressure in your chest. Breathe in for five to eight seconds, hold it for three to five seconds, and then exhale slowly. This can be repeated several times.;
- Taking a bath: This can help relax you and bring your heart rate down.;
- Light yoga: Calming yoga or meditation can help relax you and bring a high heart rate down.
- Moving to a cooler location: If your heart rate is raised because youre too hot, moving to a cooler location will help bring it down.;
Here are some long-term solutions that can help you achieve a healthy heart rate:;
- Exercising regularly: Starting and keeping an exercise program will help decrease resting heart rates over time.
- Eating healthy:Healthy diets that contain whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids are great for supporting long term heart health and will help keep heart disease at bay.
- Quitting smoking:Non-smokers have a lowered risk of recurrent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
- Staying hydrated:Drinking enough water allows the heart to pump blood more easily throughout the body.;;
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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.
If Your Heart Is Beating So Fast It Feels Like Its About To Burst You Could Have A Serious Condition Or It Could Be Nothing To Worry About Heres What To Do
We all know the feeling of a bounding, fast pulse after exercising or when were furious about something. But, what if it happens while youre reading a book or watching TV? A racing pulse can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, from the benign to the serious.
It depends on the context in which your symptoms appear, says Helga Van Herle, MD, a cardiologist at Keck Medicine of USC and an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. But, if you feel like youre going to faint or if you experience lightheadedness, chest pain or sudden shortness of breath while your pulse is racing, you should seek urgent medical attention.
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Track Your Heart Rate
Keeping track of your heart rate can give you insight into your fitness level, heart health and emotional health, Dr. Sinha says. Many people are walking around with a resting heart rate that is too high, due to factors such as too much caffeine, dehydration, inactivity and persistent stress. Those extra heart beats over time can be taking years off your life.
Dr. Sinha recommends tracking your heart rate as well as keeping a journal of which activities are causing higher heart rates. Then use that information to make changes, set priorities and move toward a healthier life. If daily stress is raising your resting heart rate, for example, think twice about taking on that extra project at work or school. Consider adding a morning walk or a 10-minute breathing session at lunch.
A final reminder from Dr. Sinha: Get your doctors OK before exercising hard if you have a heart condition or other disorder where exercising may be unsafe. Also keep in mind that certain medications can affect your heart rate, making it a less reliable measurement.
Foods That Lower Heart Rate
Diet also seems to have an effect on your heart rate. A cross-sectional analysis of about 10,000 European men without heart disease showed that eating fish was associated with a decreased heart rate. Fish consumption was still an important factor in lowering heart rate when the study adjusted for age, physical activity, smoking, and several other factors.
Most instances of a sudden spike in heart rate come from faster-than-normal impulses from the sinus node, the hearts natural pacemaker. This situation is called sinus tachycardia. In this case, the heartbeat is fast, but normal.
The American Heart Association notes that sinus tachycardia can arise from several different conditions, including:
- some medical and street drugs
- severe emotional distress
It results less commonly from:
- heart muscle damage from heart failure or a heart attack
- severe bleeding
Doctors address sinus tachycardia by going after the cause. For example, they may prescribe psychological care for anxiety and other types of emotional distress. Physiological conditions such as anemia or thyroid problems will require medical treatment.
In some cases, its impossible to link sinus tachycardia back to a source. This type of so-called inappropriate sinus tachycardia is a difficult condition to treat. In the long run, it can cause significant medical problems.
Possible complications include:
- blood clots, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack
- heart failure
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Target Heart Rates Chart
What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.
Losing Weight With Your Target Heart Rate
Anyone who wants to lose weight should understand how their body uses energy. Personal trainer and author Paige Waehner;explains that carbohydrates and fat are the bodys main fuel for exercise.
These energy sources will be used differently depending on the type of exercise being performed. For example, high-intensity workouts like HIIT, cardio training, and jogging rely on carbs more than fat. In contrast, the body relies more on fat during low-intensity workouts like yoga, tai chi, or walking.
Calorie intake also plays an important role in losing weight, especially in fat-burning workouts. Most people understand that you need to reduce calorie intake or increase calorie burning in order to shed pounds. But how many calories should you aim to burn in order to see results?
According to Mayo Clinic,;a loss of 3,500 calories equates to losing one pound. Spreading this out over time cutting out 500 to 1,000 calories per week can help you lose weight in a steady, healthy way.
In addition to using your target heart rate for weight loss and watching your calorie intake, factors such as fitness level, age, gender, muscle mass, and diet all play a role in a persons ability to lose fat, says Dr. Neal Malik. He suggests mixing up your workout routine with a combination of low-intensity and high-intensity physical activity in order to reach your ideal weight loss goals.
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How To Find Your Zones
Your heart rate is one of the most accurate measurements of intensity and effort during a workout. Finding a good heart rate for training in each zone can help improve your performance. Everyone has a resting heart rate, which is best measured when you first wake up, and a maximum heart rate, or the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity. Between these two values are different zones that mark your effort.
The most accurate methods to find your MHR are in a lab test, which is conducted by professionals with fancy equipment, or in a field test, which is often supervised by a certified trainer in a gym setting with a treadmill or indoor bike. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, this isnt always an option. So to find your zones on your own, the first thing youll need to do is calculate your MHR, maximum heart rate.
Youve probably seen one longstanding formula for this: 220 minus your age, but the best equation currently available for the general population is . There are various models of heart rate training zones , but most nonelite runners follow five zones established by heart rate monitor company Polar, based on research from the 1970s. There are five zones: very light, light, moderate, hard, and very hard. Heres how the numbers stack up:
To calculate your personal zones, theres some easy math involved: Just multiply your max by the minimum and maximum percentages indicated by each zone.
Sleeping Heart Rate And Sleep Apnea
One of the most common sleep disorders and one thats directly correlated with heart rate is sleep apnea. This is when a person experiences airway blockages that cause them to involuntarily stop breathing during sleep.
Also called obstructive sleep apnea , this sleep disorder is most commonly caused by obesity, body mass index, chronic sinusitis, large tonsils or adenoids, large neck circumference, and smoking, says nurse practitioner Kathleen Davis. So how do you know if you have OSA? Davis says that loud snoring, accompanied by restless sleep and daytime fatigue, could indicate the presence of sleep apnea.
The pauses in breath caused by this disorder;can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. People with sleep apnea dont return to regular breathing gracefully: The transition is often marked by a gasp, snort, or choke, which tends to startle the sleeper awake. These sleep disruptions are why people with sleep apnea often experience daytime tiredness, even after a full nights sleep.
Fatigue and frustration aside, sleep apnea also affects sleeping heart rate. When you stop breathing while you sleep, your heart rate drops, and then your involuntary reflexes make you startle into a micro-arousal, which causes your heart rate to accelerate quickly, says The National Sleep Foundation. In addition to increasing blood pressure, this rapid decrease and increase in heart rate leads to an irregular heart rhythm, or cardiac arrhythmia.
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What Is Your Target Zone
Target Heart Rate Zones by Age *
- Age: 20
- Target Heart Rate Zone : ** 120 170
- Predicted Maximum HR: 200
Your Actual Values
- Target HR
* This chart is based on the formula: 220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate.
Is A Fast Heart Rate Always A Cause For Concern
There are several different possible causes of an elevated heart rate. While some causes are more worrisome to cardiologists, there are other causes that can be addressed by making lifestyle changes.; Some of these include excitement , dehydration, and even the consumption of nicotine or energy drinks.
There are times that having an elevated heart rate makes sense. For instance, if you are fighting a fever or getting over the flu, or are in the process of recovering from a surgery, a fast heart rate is your bodys way of saying it is working. Its important to monitor your heart rate during these times, but do not become immediately alarmed.
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What Is Considered A Fast Heart Rate
The definition of a fast heart rate differs depending on the age of the person experiencing it. Typically, it is defined as have a resting heart rate faster than 100 beats per minute for adults.
A fast heart rate is one that is unexpected for a certain level of physical activity. Usually, most adults resting heart rate usually lies in the range of 60-80 beats per minute, with some heart rates approaching 100 beats per minute.