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How To Know Your Heart Rate

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Calculating Your Theoretical Max Heart Rate

How To Check Your Heart Rate

Its important to know your max heart rate because that will determine your heart rate for each zone. For a really long time, the formula for calculating your max heart rate was 220 minus your age, but it turns out that might no longer be the best way.

According to this study, the most recent equation used to find max heart rate is the following: HR max = 208.609-0.716 x age for males and 209.273-0.804 x age for females.

Rough translation: Take the 208.609 number if you identify as male or the 209.273 number if you identify as female and subtract 0.716 or 0.804 times your age.

For example: A 28-year-old woman would multiply her age, 28, by 0.804, which brings her to 22.512 . Then shell subtract 23 from 209.273, which would give her a theoretical max heart rate of 187. Yay, math!

What Is A Normal Heart Rate

A normal for adults is typically 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate that is slower than 60 beats per minute is considered bradycardia and a rate that is faster than 100 beats per minutes is termed tachycardia . There are some experts who believe that an ideal resting heart rate is closer to 50 to 70 beats per minute. Regardless of what is considered normal, it’s important to recognize that a healthy heart rate will vary depending on the situation.

Among healthy people, a slower heart rate can be due to being physically fit, a medication, or . However, a slower heart rate can indicate a sign of disease including heart disease, certain infections, high levels of potassium in the blood, or an .

On the reverse side, a fast rate in healthy people can be because they are exercising, nervous or excited, using a stimulant or are pregnant. The health conditions that are associated with a fast heart rate include most infections or just about any cause of fever, heart problems, certain medications, low levels of potassium in the blood, an overactive thyroid gland or too much thyroid medication, anemia, or asthma or other breathing trouble.

Your Heart Rhythm: As Regular As Possible

Your heart rhythm is the rhythm at which your heart beats. It will learn whether those beats come regular . Suppose you have a heart rate of 80, then your heart should beat every 0,75 seconds.

Your heart rate varies constantly. But your heart rhythm should remain regular throughout the day.

An unregular heart rhythm is what we call a heart rhythm disorder. Occasionally your heart can skip a beat, this is called an ectopic beat. Or your heartbeats follow each other rapidly during a short period of time and then slow down again.

An example to make it clear. This graph shows the same heart rate twice.

  • The rhythm in the top line is regular. Each heartbeat is equally far apart, all peaks are equally high and wide .
  • The second rhythm is irregular. In the beginning 3 heartbeats follow each other very quickly, between the last 2 heartbeats more time passes.

In both cases, the heart beats 60 times per minute. Although the heart rates the same, that cannot be said about the heart rhythm.

Checking your heart rhythm

Measuring your heart rate is quite easy. Measuring your heart rhythm on the other hand is way more complicated. At least it was. You had to make an appointment with your doctor or cardiologist for an electrocardiogram , a measurement through a number of electrodes on your body. Unfortunately, this examination is a snapshot. Deviations that dont occur at the time of the examination dont pop up on the radar.

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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.

What Should Your Heart Rate Be

Is It Really That Important to Know Your Heart Rate During ...

Heart rate norms are based primarily on age rather than gender, although men tend to have slightly lower heart rates than women.

The ideal resting heart rate for adults is 60 to 100 bpm. Very fit individuals such as athletes may have resting heart rates below 60 bpm.

Target heart rates can be used to maximize the efficiency of your workouts, as well as to keep you safe. Typically, exercising at 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate is most beneficial.

Exercising at the lower end of this percentage or doing interval training is ideal for fat burning. Exercising at the higher end is ideal for building cardiovascular strength.

To calculate your estimated maximum heart rate, you can use the equation of subtracting your age from 220. For example, if youre 45, then your approximate maximum heart rate is 175 bpm .

You can then use your maximum heart rate to determine what your target heart rate is while exercising.

The chart below shows estimated maximum and target heart rates for various age groups:


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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:

  • dizziness

Everything You Need To Know About Heart Rate Variability And Other Similar Ways To Gauge One’s Fitness And Recovery Status

Read this story in French.

Devices that measure heart rate variability , such as Whoop and the Oura Ring, are becoming increasingly popular. Just like any tool, these devices are only useful if we understand what they measure and are able to use the information that the instrument provides intelligently. Here is a brief overview of the autonomic nervous system and the different measures associated with the autonomic nervous system.

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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.

What Is Your Target Zone


Target Heart Rate Zones by Age *

  • Age: 20
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : ** 120 170
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 200
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 117 166
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 195
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 114 162
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 190
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : ** 111 157
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 185
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 108 153
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 180
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 105 149
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 175
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 102 145
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 170
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 99 140
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 165
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 96 136
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 160
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 93 132
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 155
  • Target Heart Rate Zone : 90 123
  • Predicted Maximum HR: 150
  • Your Actual Values

    • Target HR

    * This chart is based on the formula: 220 – your age = predicted maximum heart rate.

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    Getting Help With Your Heart Rate

  • 1Wear a fitness tracker. An electronic fitness tracker can be an excellent way to track your heart rate. In addition to keeping track of your daily steps taken and activity levels, most of these trackers also keep record of your sleeping patterns, heart rate, and even allow you to log in your calories consumed.XResearch source
  • Each model of fitness tracker comes with a variety of features. Make sure the one you purchase has a heart rate feature before you buy it.
  • Some of the most popular fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring include the Fitbit Charge 2, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+, the TomTom Spark 3, and the Garmin Forerunner 35.
  • 2Wear another kind of heart rate monitoring device. There are a variety of heart rate monitors on the market. While the fitness trackers may be the most popular, they arent necessarily the most accurate. You can try a band that goes around your chest to monitor your heart rate for the highest levels of reliability.
  • You can even consider arm band monitors, earphone monitors, and headband monitors.
  • 3Make an appointment with your doctor. If you are concerned about your heart rate, the most accurate way to measure it is by letting a medical professional handle it. Make an appointment to see your doctor and tell them what symptoms you are experiencing that are causing you concern.XResearch source
  • 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.

    If you haven’t exercised before, or haven’t for some time, see our Live Well section to read about the benefits of exercise and how much exercise you should be doing.

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    Arrhythmia: A Problem With Your Heart Rate

    When your heartâs beating rhythm is off, that’s called an arrhythmia. There are four major types:

    ⢠Tachycardia: When your heart beats too fast, usually more than 100 beats a minute

    ⢠Bradycardia: When your heart beats too slowly, below 60 beats a minute

    ⢠Supraventricular arrhythmia: An arrhythmia that starts in your heartâs upper chambers

    ⢠Ventricular arrhythmia: An arrhythmia that starts in your heartâs lower chambers

    Understanding Target Heart Rate Zones

    How to calculate your maximum heart rate to know how hard ...

    There are multiple heart rate zones that are detailed by the percentage of your maximum heart rate, and each can target a certain type of fitness.

    Healthy heart zone: This zone describes where your heart rate should be during your warm up, which is approximately 5060 percent of your maximum heart rate. This zone is perfect for those just beginning to workout, as well as for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.

    Fitness zone: This zone is more intense and burns more total calories than the previous. It occurs between 60 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

    Aerobic zone: This is between 70 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate and is most often reached during endurance training. It is meant to improve the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

    Anaerobic zone: Between 80 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, this zone is used for performance training and improves the cardiorespiratory system, which helps you to better fight fatigue.

    Red line maximum: The highest zone, which between 90 and 100 percent of your maximum heart rate, and very little training utilizes this intensity. Only those in exceptional shape should train in this zone with the approval of their physician.

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    When To See A Professional About Heart Rate

    Certain medications or irregularities in your heart rate may warrant a visit to your doc. For example, many people on beta blockers are asked by their doctor to monitor and log heart rate. Keeping tabs on your heart rate can be helpful for your doctor when determining dosage or other treatment.

    Additionally, if your pulse is very low, very high or switches frequently between the two, tell your doctor right away. Your pulse is an insightful tool into the status of your health and fitness level. Always check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.

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    The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

    The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

    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.

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    The Autonomic Nervous System

    The autonomic nervous system regulates several physiological processes such as breathing and blood pressure.

    The autonomic nervous system is divided into:

    • Sympathetic: This system is responsible for increasing heart rate, speeding up breathing, dilating the pupils and stimulating the body. This system is sometimes called the fight or flight system since it is this system that comes into play in the event of a dangerous or stressful situation.
    • Parasympathetic: this system opposes the sympathetic system by slowing down the functions of the body. This system is sometimes called the rest and digest system, since it mainly deals with rest and digestion.

    Physical activity has an effect on the autonomic nervous system by increasing parasympathetic activity and decreasing sympathetic activity, which has a protective effect against cardiovascular problems. Also, overtraining, which affects about 65 per cent of top athletes at least once in their careers, has an effect on the autonomic nervous system. The effect of overtraining on the autonomic nervous system is not yet very clear, but it is theorized that at first the sympathetic system is dominant, then subsequently the sympathetic system is inhibited and the parasympathetic system becomes dominant.

    The three main measures of autonomic nervous system status are heart rate recovery, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability .

    When Is It An Emergency

    Heart Health : How to Find Your Maximum Heart Rate

    If you suddenly notice a change in your heartbeat that is accompanied by:

    • feeling fluttering or palpitations in your chest
    • having pain or discomfort in your chest
    • exercise intolerance

    Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:

    • Holter or event monitor. This is a smaller, portable EKG machine you wear for a set amount of time to help your doctor monitor your electrocardiographic signals.
    • Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
    • Stress test. Sometimes called a treadmill test, this can help diagnose people whose symptoms may be exercise related.
    • A tilt-table test. This measures how your blood pressure and heart rate respond when you go from lying down to standing up. People dealing with fainting spells are usually candidates.
    • Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
    • Electrophysiologic testing. Done under local anesthesia, this procedure involves temporary electrode catheters being threaded through veins or arteries into the heart to record the hearts electrical signals.

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    Heart Rate Tips To Keep In Mind

    • Start at your beginning. Before getting overly concerned about your heart rate, Martin says, its best to simply get moving. If you havent exercised much before, start where youre comfortable and gradually exert yourself more over time.
    • Listen to your body. Your body provides other indicators of how hard its working that you need to consider along with heart rate. Pay attention to how hard youre breathing or sweating, and stop if you feel very uncomfortable, Martin says. Devices recording your heart rate have been known to malfunction, for exampleanother reason listening to your body is important.
    • Remember that target heart rate is just a guide. Dont get overly fixated on numbers, Martin says. Ideally, they just push you to work a little harder.

    Potential Causes Of Low Heart Rate

    Generally, a slower heart rate when you are at rest is a sign of good health. Bradycardia can result from several positive or neutral causes that shouldnt warrant any worry. Some of these include:

    • High fitness levels
    • The impact of regular meditative breathing
    • A genetic predisposition for a slower heart rate
    • The side effect of beta-blockers and other heart-related medications

    Do You Know: Bradycardia that stems from the use of beta-blockers and other heart-related medication, is often reversible.

    Suppose your heart rate is falling to dangerous levels because of the medication and experiencing symptoms like fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and dizziness. In that case, you should consider stopping the medicine immediately until you consult with your doctor.

    In most cases, stopping the medication will immediately reverse the symptoms.

    However, in other cases, bradycardia may stem from other severe, more worrying, and potentially more harmful causes like:

    • Hypothyroidism and other hormonal and metabolic problems
    • Stroke
    • Heart attacks
    • Sick sinus syndrome, congestive cardiomyopathy, node damage, and other forms of heart disease

    In all of these severe cases above, a low heart rate is a cause for concern, as it can signal potentially dangerous or even fatal conditions that require immediate attention. So, how can you tell whether your low heart rate stems from a positive, unthreatening source or a more critical, potentially life-threatening condition?

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