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.
Whats An Ideal Target Heart Rate
Your target heart rate during exercise should be between 50% to 85% of your MHR, depending on what type of exercise you are doing and for what purpose.
For example, if you want to improve your endurance, you should do long training sessions at low intensity. If your aim is to improve your cardiovascular health, then high-intensity interval training is what you should try.
Is Resting Heart Rate Different By Age
For most of us , between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal.1 The rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. An athlete or more active person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Now thats chill!
When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. It usually means your heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.2
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Maximum And Target Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate during workout sessions can help you determine whether you are doing too much or not enough, the AHA says. When people exercise in their “target heart zone,” they maximize the cardiovascular benefits of their workout that’s because, when your heart rate is in the target zone, “you are pushing the muscle to get stronger,” Bauman said.
A person’s target heart rate zone is between 50% and 85% of their maximum heart rate, according to the AHA. Most commonly, maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. So for a 30-year-old person, for example, the maximum heart rate would be 190 bpm: 220 30 = 190.
The target zone for a 30-year-old person would therefore lie between 50 and 85% of 190:
- 50%: 190 x 0.50 = 95 bpm
- 85%: 190 x 0.85 = 162 bpm
For a 60-year-old person, the target zone would be between 80 and 136 bpm.
You can either manually calculate your heart rate during exercise or use heart rate monitors that wrap around the chest, or are included in sports watches. However, that’s not to say that exercising without getting the heart rate up to the target zone has no benefit, Bauman said. It just doesn’t challenge the heart to its fullest extent.
Lowering A Rapid Heart Rate
Heart rates can spike due to nervousness, stress, dehydration and overexertion. Sitting down, taking slow, deep breaths and rehydrating can help lower your heart rate in these instances.
In the long-term, maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help to lower and then maintain your resting heart rate over time. Smoking cigarettes raises the heart rate, in part due to nicotine’s effects on the circulatory systems blood vessels, so quitting smoking can also help lower one’s heart rate to a healthy range, according to Harvard Health.
To lower your heart rate in a healthy way after exercise, the AHA and Mayo Clinic recommend that you “cool down” by continuing to move for about 5 to 10 minutes, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity compared with the rest of your workout. For instance, Mayo suggests the following cool down activities:
- To cool down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
- To cool down after swimming, swim laps leisurely for five to 10 minutes.
Cooling down after a workout helps gradually bring your heart rate down to pre-exercise levels, thus helping you avoid potential feelings of dizziness or nausea that can occur when the heart rate falls too rapidly. It’s unclear whether including a cool down in your workout helps to prevent muscle stiffness or soreness after exercise, but more research is needed in this area, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Exercising When You Have Heart Disease
Regular activity is one of the best ways to make a good recovery. But how, and how much? Our new guide gives you the facts.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your heart health. Physical activity helps you live longer and reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 50 per cent.
But after youve been diagnosed with heart disease, you may feel scared and uncertain. Where do you start? How much activity is healthy and safe?
Living Well with Heart Disease is a new book from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, for people with heart disease and their families. Written by experts, its a guide to every aspect of recovery, from medications through dealing with the emotional impact. You can download a free PDF copy of the 112-page book at this link.
The excerpt below is adapted from the books chapter on active living.
The role of cardiac rehab
If you have had heart disease, a cardiac rehabilitation program teaches you how to safely become more active and make lifestyle changes so you improve your heart health and reduce your risk of future heart problems. Your cardiac rehab program team may include a:
The team will help guide you toward heart health. Your family doctor can help to set you up with a program in your community. Find a cardiac rehab program close to you at cardiachealth.ca.
Just starting to exercise?
A routine that fits your needs
FITT stands for:
Listen to your body
What May Be More Important Than When
To stay motivated, choose activities you enjoy. Walking, swimming or biking solo might be a better fit for you. If youd like to spend more time with your family, find an activity you can all do together, like an after-dinner walk or game of soccer.
There are so many choices dont limit yourself to just one. Having a variety of fitness activities to choose from may keep you from getting bored or burned out.
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How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate Over Time
As a person starts to exercise regularly and gain fitness over time, they will be able to exercise within a higher heart rate zone. This is because they are training their heart and muscles to respond to repeat exertion.
People may start out with a target of 50% of their maximum heart rate, but before long, they will be able to comfortably train at a target of 85%.
A 2018 review study found that people can improve their heart health and lower their resting heart rate by exercising regularly. Regular exercise reduces a persons risk of heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions.
However, the researchers also suggest that continuously high levels of exercise such as marathon running could be harmful to heart health.
Engaging in aerobic and endurance exercises also contributes to improved fitness, increased muscle tone, and improvements in general physical and mental well-being. In fact, one 2016 meta-analysis reports that exercise has a large and significant antidepressant effect on people with depression.
What Is Target Heart Rate
Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. During exercise, you can monitor heart rate and try to reach this target zone. Doctors also use target heart rate to interpret the results of a cardiac stress test.
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Why Train With Heart Rate
Your heart rate is a useful tool for understanding and improving your fitness level and performance. Training with heart rate allows you to monitor and control the intensity of your workouts, allowing for variation in your training plan.
The best part of training with heart rate means that every second of your workout counts. By monitoring your heart rate during exercise, youll enhance both your fitness and recovery time, which combined will improve your overall performance.
Is 150 A Good Heart Rate For Exercise
The American Heart Association recommends that a person does exercise that is vigorous enough to raise their heart rate to their target heartrate zone50 percent to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate, which is 220 beats per minute minus their age for adultsfor at least 30 minutes on most days, or about 150
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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.
Target Heart Rate And Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
For moderate-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 64% and 76%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. You can estimate your maximum heart rate based on your age. To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 50 years = 170 beats per minute . The 64% and 76% levels would be:
- 64% level: 170 x 0.64 = 109 bpm, and
- 76% level: 170 x 0.76 = 129 bpm
This shows that moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 109 and 129 bpm during physical activity.
For vigorous-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 77% and 93%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. To figure out this range, follow the same formula used above, except change 64 and 76% to 77 and 93%. For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 35 years = 185 beats per minute . The 77% and 93% levels would be:
- 77% level: 185 x 0.77 = 142 bpm, and
- 93% level: 185 x 0.93 = 172 bpm
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Exercise Makes Your Heart More Efficient
Typical resting heart rate can vary quite substantially between people and even within an individual. Around 60-80 beats per minute for adults is common.
Improving your aerobic fitness reduces your resting heart rate, as the heart becomes more efficient with each beat. An athletes resting heart rate, for instance, is typically around 40 BPM.
In fact, evidence suggests that long-term exercise training increases the size of the heart, specifically the left ventricle, a phenomenon known as Athletes Heart. A bigger heart means more blood can be pumped with each beat, and fewer beats per minute are required to maintain blood flow around the body. This is a beneficial physiological adaptation allowing athletes to exercise at higher intensities for longer.
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How Do You Measure Your Resting Heart Rate
You will get more out of your workouts by understanding your heart rate, and zones which you need to play within, Mens Health Fitness Director Todd Liubinskas says. Any wearable tech on the market will be able to monitor and record results effectively.
While most smart watches and fitness trackers come with an in-built heart rate monitor so you can easily keep tabs on it, if you want to calculate it the old fashion way, all you need to do is find your pulse and do a bit of counting. Find a time when you are relaxed and inactive and place your index and middle finger on the inside of your wrist or either side of your neck. Count the number of beats for 30 second and double it. That is your resting heart rate.
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Why Is It Important To Know Your Target Heart Rate
Knowing your target heart rate is important because it helps you get the most of your workouts. Exercising at the right heart rate intensity helps you avoid burnout and injury. It also helps you avoid wasting time with a workout thats not vigorous enough for your fitness goals.
How can you tell if youre in your target heart rate zone?
The formula for target heart is the following:
Ideally Fuel Up Two Hours Before You Exercise By:
- Hydrating with water.
- Eating healthy carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals , whole-wheat toast, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
- Avoiding saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
If you only have 5-10 minutes before you exercise, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana.
The key is to consume easily digested carbohydrates, so you dont feel sluggish, Platt said.
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How To Take Your Heart Rate
You can measure your heart rate by finding your pulse. The pulsating rhythm of your bloodyour pulsematches the movements of your heart and indicates your heart rate. Using your middle and index finger, press firmly in an area of your body that has a pulse. One of the most common places to take your pulse is on the inside of your wrist. Other body parts that reveal your pulse include:
- The side of your neck
- The pit opposite your elbow
- The base of your toe
Once you locate your pulse, using a stopwatch, begin counting each beat for 60 seconds. Alternatively, you can count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply your results by 4. This measurement indicates your approximate resting heart rate.
How Do I Find My Target Heart Rate
To find your target heart rate zone, you first have to know your max heart rate. The simplest way to determine that is to subtract your age from 220. That number is a general guideline for your max heart rate. Then multiply that number times the percentage listed in the exercise heart rate zone you want to be in.
For example, a 40-year-old woman has a max heart rate of 180 beats per minute . To exercise in the lower-intensity zone, multiply 180 times 50% or 60%. The target heart rate would range from 90 to 108 for a low-intensity workout.
Some exercise machines like treadmills automatically track your heart rate for you. But you can also track it yourself by wearing a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker.
What heart rate is too high?
Anything over your max heart rate is unsafe. But its also about duration, says Travers. You can do short bursts in a higher, more intense heart rate zone. Overall, though, its best to spend longer periods in a zone below your max heart rate.
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What Is A Normal Heart Rate
A normal heart rate, when you’re not being active, is between 60 100 beats per minute. This is called your resting heart rate. If you’ve been active, you’ll need to wait at least five minutes before taking your pulse.
When you’re active, your heart beats faster to get more oxygen to your working muscles. The harder your body is working, the faster your heart will beat. For example, your heart rate when you’re sprinting will be much faster than your heart rate when you’re walking. If you’re exercising hard it’s normal for your heart rate to get up to 160 beats per minute or more.
There are other things that can make your heart beat faster, like caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs and some kinds of medications. Your heart will also beat faster when you feel strong emotions, like anxiety or fear.
Athletes or people who are very fit may have resting heart beats of less than 60 bpm.