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.
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.
Know Your Target Heart Rates
In order to calculate your target heart rate, you must first figure out your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the number of beats per minute your heart completes while you are at rest. The best time to check this rate is in the morning after a restful sleep before you get out of bed. The average resting heart rate for individuals over the age of ten is approximately 60-100 beats per minute, as detailed by the National Institute of Health. In addition, the average target heart rate zones, as well as the average maximum heart rates, for those between the ages of 40 and 70 have been detailed in the chart below:
|150 beats per minute|
What Is The Pulse
These expansions rise and fall in time with the heart as it pumps the blood and then rests as it refills. The pulsations are felt at certain points on the body where larger arteries run closer to the skin.
Find Your Target Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate is a useful tool you can learn to use to guide your training and make sure youre getting the most out of your workouts. It can help make sure youre pushing hard on interval days and taking it easy on recovery days . But what do words such as light, moderate, and vigorous mean when it comes to exercise?
You can determine your exercise intensity using your maximum and resting heart rates. Then you can use the Heart Rate Reserve method to calculate your Target Heart Rate to determine what range your heart rate should be in for your desired exercise intensity. We provide a step-by-step process you can follow.
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Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
- First sit quietly for 5 minutes or do this before you get out of bed in the morning. Place two fingers gently on either your carotid artery or on your radial pulse . Count how many pulses you feel for 15 seconds, and then multiply that number by 4.
- For example, if you count 15 pulses, thats a RHR of 60 beats per minute .
What Is Your Activity Level
Your target heart rate depends on how physically fit you are. For example, if you are not active and not physically fit, your target heart rate is a little lower than the target heart rate of someone who exercises every day. This tool gives you a range of what your target heart rate is, based on how much you usually exercise.
To find your target heart rate range, you will choose the category that best matches your level of physical activity. The categories are:
- Not active. You do less than 30 minutes of light activity no more than 2 times a week. Cleaning house, slow walking, and playing golf are examples of light activity.
- Moderately active. You do up to 30 minutes of light to moderate activity 3 to 5 times a week. Brisk walking, jogging, riding a bike, swimming, and playing tennis are examples of moderate activity.
- Very active. You do more than 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week.
Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age
This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3
In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.
The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.
What Affects Heart Rate
Many biological factors can affect your heart rate including your age, body size and current body position. If you have a fever or slept poorly, you might notice a higher heart rate.
Your fitness level is another factor to consider. People who are more active may have lower resting heart rates. An athletes resting heart rate might even go below 50 BPM.
Psychological factors, such as your emotional state, can also influence your BPM. If youre feeling stressed out, youll notice your heart rate increase.
Smoking will also increase your heart rate. And thats just one of many ways smoking can have a negative effect on your overall health.
Some medications can influence how fast your heart beats. Substances with caffeine, including coffee and tea, can elevate your heart rate as well.
How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate Zone
If you are looking to train according to your heart rate, you will need to calculate your target heart rate. This can be done by using an online calculator or computing the information yourself. If you are looking to determine your target heart rate for vigorous activity, start by subtracting your age from 220.
Heart Rate Maximum = beats per minute
For example, if you are 60 years old, then your maximum heart rate will be 160. Next, calculate your resting heart rate by counting the beats per minute while at rest, preferably after waking but before getting out of bed. This number should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute for the average adult.
Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to calculate your heart rate reserve. If your resting heart rate is 70 and your maximum heart rate is 160, then your heart rate reserve will be 90. Multiply this number by 0.7 then add your heart rate reserve to find the lower end of your target heart rate zone, then by 0.8 and add the heart rate reserve to find the higher end of your target heart rate zone. For example, if your heart rate reserve is 90, then the lower end of the range should be 153 beats per minute, and the higher end should be 162 beats per minute.
Purpose: Create Energy Fuel Cells That Run On Fat
Simply put, cardiovascular exercise is continuous movements that get the blood flowing through the lungs and delivering oxygen to the tissues int he body. Basically its a workout for the heart and lungs. But there are some cool benefits that arent always talked about.
Mitochondria are like fuel cells in the body. They take fat and oxygen and turn it into energy. When we have a lot of them, we feel amazing and are more likely to be healthy and lean. Mitochondria are built by the body as a reaction to lower intensity aerobic workouts. During aerobic workouts, the body is producing energy using mitochondria, which takes a little while since there are several steps it has to take. I could go into the Krebs cycle here, but honestly its stab-me-in-the-eyes boring and hard to remember. Theres no quiz at the end of this post anyway. The word aerobic basically means with oxygen, and its important to know that not all cardiovascular workouts use the combination of fat and oxygen to make energy.
Anaerobic workouts are good for making the heart stronger and increasing something called VO2 max, which is a measurement of how much work the body can do at a high intensity. High VO2 has been correlated with longevity and decreased risk of all-cause mortality. Higher intensity work is extremely good at increasing VO2 max, so it is important to get a mixture of high, medium and low intensity cardiovascular exercise.
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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.
How To Check Heart Rate At Home
Wondering how to calculate resting heart rate on your own?
One convenient method involves an electronic fitness tracker. These devices can come in many forms, including a watch or chest strap. Some workout machines even have a built-in BPM monitor, so you can see your heart rate at a glance.
You dont need high-tech equipment to determine your heart rate though. The following techniques will also get the job done.
Note that its best to check your heart rate in the morning, before you have your morning cup of coffee or tea. Measuring it after a workout will also give you an inflated number.
- Radial pulse: use your middle and pointer finger to find a pulse at the base of your thumb, along the inside fold of your wrist. Count the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to determine your BPM.
- Carotid pulse: use your middle and pointer finger to find a pulse on the side of your windpipe, just under your jawbone. You can find it on either side of your neck. Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by four.
- Pedal and brachial pulse: you can use the same technique to find a pulse on the top of your foot and near the inner crease of your elbow. Its common for doctors to use the latter method to determine heart rate in children.
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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
How To Measure Resting Heart Rate
To determine your resting heart rate the old-school way, simply count how many times your heart beats in a minute. Your reading will be more accurate if you measure it in the morning before you get out of bed. To measure your resting heart rate, follow these steps:
- Choose a location at which you can feel your pulse. The best places to find your pulse are on your wrists, the insides of your elbows, the tops of your feet and the side of your neck, just under your jaw.
- Place two fingers on the pulse location, and count the number of beats you feel in 60 seconds.
Use a stopwatch during this process because it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to count both the pulse and the seconds in your head. Counting for a full 60 seconds will provide the most accurate result, but you can also count for 30 seconds and then multiply that number by two.
For example, if I count 30 pulses in 30 seconds, I’d multiply that by two to get 60 for my resting heart rate.
Heart Rate Reserve Example
How to calculate heart rate reserve?
Using the calculator linked above, determine your maximum heart rate based on your age and gender.
Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to determine your HRR.
How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate
This article was co-authored by Steve Bergeron. Steve Bergeron is a Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, and the Co-Owner of AMP Fitness in Boston, Massachusetts. With over a decade of experience, Steve specializes in educating, guiding, and empowering his clients to develop healthy habits and reach their individual fitness goals. He holds a BS in Exercise Physiology and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach , ASCM Health and Fitness Specialist , Strong First Kettlebell Coach , and Certified Functional Movement Screen Specialist . AMP Fitness mission is to create a community that is inclusive and gives people the tools and support they need to succeed.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,656,595 times.
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Exercise And Heart Rate
Like any other muscle, your heart needs exercise to keep it fit and healthy. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes.
To keep your heart healthy, you should aim to do 150 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise a week. If you have a heart condition, talk to your doctor about what exercise and target heart rates are safe for you.
One way to measure the intensity of your exercise is by using your heart rate. To exercise at a low to moderate intensity your heart rate should be at 50 to 70% of your approximate maximum heart rate.
The easiest way to get an approximate maximum heart rate is to calculate 220 your age. You then need to calculate 50 to 70% of your MHR.
For example, if you’re 40-years-old:
- your approximate maximum heart rate is: 220 40 = 180 beats per minute
- 50% of your MHR is 180 X 0.5 = 90 bpm
- 70% of your MHF is 180 X 0.7 = 126 bpm.
Alternatively, you can use our heart rate chart below to get a rough idea.
Remember if you’re on medications to slow your heart rate down, you may not be able to meet these upper heart rates and the aim should be to exercise at a rate that makes you lightly puff.
How To Check Your Pulse And Heart Rate
Exercise is an important part of cancer prevention. You need 150minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorousexercise each week to help lower your cancer risk. Your heart rate canhelp you determine if the exercise youre doing is moderate orvigorous.
If youre working at 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, then thatexercise is considered moderate. If youre working at 70 to 85% ofyour heart rate then its vigorous exercise.
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How To Calculate Your Heart Rate
This article was co-authored by Steve Bergeron. Steve Bergeron is a Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, and the Co-Owner of AMP Fitness in Boston, Massachusetts. With over a decade of experience, Steve specializes in educating, guiding, and empowering his clients to develop healthy habits and reach their individual fitness goals. He holds a BS in Exercise Physiology and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach , ASCM Health and Fitness Specialist , Strong First Kettlebell Coach , and Certified Functional Movement Screen Specialist . AMP Fitness mission is to create a community that is inclusive and gives people the tools and support they need to succeed. This article has been viewed 130,406 times.
Adults generally have a resting heart rate of 60100 beats per minute. An athlete in top form might have a heart rate between 40 and 60 beats per minute. People in better shape generally have a slower heart rate because their hearts beat more efficiently. By measuring your heart rate you can get an idea of how healthy your heart is and monitor how hard you are working during exercise.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to sourceXTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source.