How To Use Heart Rate Data To Adjust Exercise Intensity
The intensity level of exercise determines how effective your training is. If you want your workouts to be effective , youll need to know if the intensity of your training session was what you planned.
To improve your fitness, its crucial to not only monitor if youre doing enough but also to make sure you dont overtrain. As counterproductive as it sounds, if your training is too intense or repetitive with no variation, it can, in fact, hamper your performance and/or put you at risk of injury.
To improve your fitness, its crucial to not only monitor if youre doing enough but also to make sure you dont overtrain.
Especially if you rigidly focus on one thing and one thing only its rarely enough.
You can overdo any form of exercise, even something as simple and seemingly low effort as walking walk too much, too often, while ignoring strength training and stretching, and you may soon find yourself with lower back pain, aching hip joints, inflamed Achilles tendons or knee problems.
Specific goals or not, its key for everyone to find that sweet spot where youre exercising enough, at the right intensity without overdoing it.
Using your Polar product, you can adjust exercise intensity by creating training targets with Polar Flow. This means your heart rate data can be used to ensure you are receiving a balance of training.
Easy Steps To Find Your Target Heart Rate Range
Ryan Lawson, Exercise Specialist
Were all familiar with the phrase use it or lose it, and it perfectly applies to our body and muscles. Muscles are made to be used, and if theyre neglected its our health and quality of life that suffers.
Cardiovascular exercise is defined as any activity that increases your heart rate. Elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time will improve your heart health. A stronger, healthier heart is able to more efficiently deliver oxygen to the muscles and also burn more fat while youre exercising and resting.
The benefits of a stronger heart through cardiovascular exercise are numerous. In addition to a stronger heart and lungs, regular exercise has been shown to lead to better sleep, less stress, reduction in mood swings and depression and an overall more active lifestyle.
You have a target heart rate zone that you should strive for during activity. A simple way to calculate it would be to first find your predicted maximum heart rate, which you can find by subtracting your age from 220. Once youve figured your maximum heart rate, you can find your target healthy heart rate range by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 65 percent to find the low end of that range and multiply your maximum heart rate by 85 percent to find the high end of the range.
Example: The maximum heart rate for a 45-year-old is 175 and the target heart rate range would be about 113 to 149 beats per minute.
What Is The Respiration Rate
The respiration rate is the number of breaths a person takes per minute. The rate is usually measured when a person is at rest and simply involves counting the number of breaths for one minute by counting how many times the chest rises. Respiration rates may increase with fever, illness, and other medical conditions. When checking respiration, it is important to also note whether a person has any difficulty breathing.
Normal respiration rates for an adult person at rest range from 12 to 16 breaths per minute.
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Fitt For Cardio And Weight Loss
The FITT Principle is most commonly used for cardiovascular training and weight loss, although its also commonly used as part of strength training recommendations . The standard recommendation for cardio training is as follows.
- Frequency 5 to 6 times per week.
- Intensity Easy to moderate, or about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate.
- Time Anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes or more.
- Type Any exercise you can do continually, like running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, stair-climber, elliptical trainer, etc.
Water Consumption And Exercise Safety
- Avoid starting exercise dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids for several hours prior to exercise.
- If you are well hydrated you should be able to pass a good volume of clear urine in the hour before exercise.
- Drink at least 500 ml an hour before exercise.
- Drink at least 150 ml every 15 minutes during exercise.
- During exercise take advantage of all breaks in play to have a drink.
- After exercise, drink more to ensure you are fully rehydrated.
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How To Check Your Heart Rate
According to the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Diseases of the Heart, it’s easy to check your pulse using just your fingers, either at the wrist or the side of the neck.
- At the wrist, lightly press the index and middle fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb.
- At the neck, lightly press the side of the neck, just below your jawbone.
- Count the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiply by four. That’s your heart rate.
To get the most accurate reading, you may want to repeat a few times and use the average of the three values. For a resting heart rate measurement, you should also follow these steps:
- Do not measure your heart rate within one to two hours after exercise or a stressful event. Your heart rate can stay elevated after strenuous activities.
- Wait an hour after consuming caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations and make your heart rate rise.
- Do not take the reading after you have been sitting or standing for a long period, which can affect your heart rate.
Various smartphone apps to check your heart rate are also available. For most of these, you place your finger on the phone’s camera lens, which then detects color changes in your finger each time your heart beats.
What Is The Rated Perceived Exertion Scale
The Rated Perceived Exertion scale is used to measure the intensity of your exercise. The RPE scale runs from 0-10. The numbers below relate to phrases used to rate how easy or difficult you find an activity. For example, 0 would be how you feel when sitting in a chair 10 would be how you feel at the end of an exercise stress test or after a very difficult activity.
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Why Monitor Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate is key in making sure that you exercise at all the intensity levels and have enough variation in your routine. The benefit of heart rate monitoring is that you can track if your workouts stay at the intensity level you planned: you will better manage to maintain a light effort throughout your workout or reach the peaks in interval training. Monitoring your heart rate means you will know, instead of just guessing by the way you feel.
As your fitness improves, your heart rate will lower. You may notice that the same heart rate allows you to run or cycle faster than before. These are clear signs that your fitness level and body capacity have improved.
To improve your fitness you need to vary the intensity of your workouts. This means you need to train on different heart rate zones, which you can target to show the full range of training possibilities.
How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
In general, people who are more fit and less stressed are more likely to have a lower resting heart rate. A few lifestyle changes can help you slow it down:
- Exercise regularly. It raises your pulse for a while, but over time, exercise makes your heart stronger so it works better.
- Eat right. Losing weight may slow your resting heart rate. And studies have found lower heart rates in men who eat more fish.
- Tackle stress. Set aside time to disconnect from electronic devices and relax each day. Meditation, tai chi, and breathing exercises can also help.
- Stop smoking. Itâs one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
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Why Train By Heart Rate
Heart-rate training is a way to combine subjective and objective measures of training, says Debra Atkinson, a certified strength and conditioning coach in Boulder, Colo.
Heres the gist: Your effort level how close to your max youre working is what really determines gains you get from a workout, such as your heart being able to pump more blood with each beat and your muscles becoming more efficient at using the oxygen in that blood. Theres a range of heart rates that correspond to the key effort levels you hit in cardio workouts. Match effort level and heart rate, and you know youre working at the right intensity for that type of workout.
From a physiological standpoint, heart-rate training is a more nuanced way to guide your workouts than, say, aiming to hit a certain pace. It also can accommodate variables such as weather, hills and day-to-day fluctuations in your energy level.
Atkinson says people who like objective data and tracking their progress are the best candidates for heart-rate training. Hamilton adds that heart-rate training can also help prevent dedicated exercisers from pushing too hard. They think, If I dont beat myself like a rented mule, Ill never get fit, she says. Heart-rate training can help them learn what easy effort really means. The result is better recovery from longer, harder workouts and, ultimately, more fitness gains.
Getting To Know The Technology
Wrist or optical heart rate technology, commonly known as WHR and OHR in the community, measures heart rate via your device’s LEDs that track blood flow in your wrist. This results in you being able to see your heart rate data during your exercise or daily use without using a chest heart rate strap. Many manufacturers provide this technology in many formats and at different developmental stages. We offer WHR in the following watch models, from newer to older: Suunto 9 Peak, Suunto 9 Baro, Suunto 9, Suunto 7, Suunto 5, Suunto 3, Suunto 3 Fitness, and in the Suunto Spartan collection, which was our very first collection of wrist heart rate devices.
The accuracy of the optical heart rate measurement is influenced by many factors and can be affected by many individual differences. In case the data collected doesn’t reflect the reality of your training, or you feel a chest sensor would be more appropriate for your type of activity, we recommend using a compatible chest heart rate sensor for more accurate readings. It can be any Bluetooth-compatible heart rate strap.
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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
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Heart Rate Monitoring Discover The Sweet Spot Of Exercise Intensity
Originally published August 9, 2018 1:16 pm, updated September 28, 2020
If were lucky enough to have found our sporting passion, then chances are we exercise for the sheer joy of it. We do our chosen sport because its our thing, our way of life its fun and makes us feel awesome!
In addition to the feel-good factors, most of us have specific sports and fitness goals that we want to achieve be it weight loss, gaining strength, or boosting endurance. But how do we know if were hitting those goals or even headed in the right direction?
What Type Of Exercise Is Best
Exercise can be divided into three basic types:
- Stretching: slow lengthening of the muscles. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your range of motion and flexibility.
- Cardiovascular or aerobic: steady physical activity using large muscle groups. This type of exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the body’s ability to use oxygen. Aerobic exercise has the most benefits for your heart. Over time, aerobic exercise can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure and improve your breathing.
- Strengthening: repeated muscle contractions until the muscle becomes tired. For people with heart failure, many strengthening exercises are not recommended.
- Aerobic exercises include: walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling , cross-country skiing, skating, rowing, and low-impact aerobics or water aerobics.
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What Is Target Heart Rate
You get the most benefits when you exercise in your ”target heart rate zone.” Usually, this is when your heart rate is 60% to 80% of your maximum. In some cases, your doctor may decrease your target heart rate zone to around 50%.
Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you find a routine and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals, and overall health.
When you start an exercise program, you may need to slowly build up to your target heart rate zone, especially if you havenât exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. Youâll lower your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to overdo it.
When you exercise, take a break and check your pulse regularly to find out whether youâre in your target zone. If your pulse is below your target zone, step up the intensity of your workout.
The Current Recommendations About Pregnancy Heart Rate
Instead of monitoring pregnancy heart rate, the current medical opinion is that its best to pay attention to perceived moderate exertionotherwise known as the talk test. “During pregnancy, if a woman is able to comfortably carry on a conversation while exercising, it is unlikely that she is overexerting herself,” says Seidelmann.
Now, what does this all mean for working out while pregnant? According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention , pregnant women should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Moderate intensity is defined as moving enough to raise your heart rate and start sweating, while still being able to talk normallybut definitely not sing.
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What Is Body Temperature
The normal body temperature of a person varies depending on gender, recent activity, food and fluid consumption, time of day, and, in women, the stage of the menstrual cycle. Normal body temperature can range from 97.8 degrees F to 99 degrees F for a healthy adult. A person’s body temperature can be taken in any of the following ways:
Orally. Temperature can be taken by mouth using either the classic glass thermometer, or the more modern digital thermometers that use an electronic probe to measure body temperature.
Rectally. Temperatures taken rectally tend to be 0.5 to 0.7 degrees F higher than when taken by mouth.
Axillary. Temperatures can be taken under the arm using a glass or digital thermometer. Temperatures taken by this route tend to be 0.3 to 0.4 degrees F lower than those temperatures taken by mouth.
A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the ear drum, which reflects the body’s core temperature .
A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the skin on the forehead.
Body temperature may be abnormal due to fever or hypothermia . A fever is indicated when body temperature rises about one degree or more over the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.