Why Is It So Important To Monitor Your Heart Rate When Exercising
There are some people who becomes breathless even during a 10-minute warm-up while there are also those who can endure an hour or more without going out of breath and still being able to engage in a conversation. So the question is, is it because one is exercising more than the other? Well, the answer depends on the capacity and endurance of your heart.
When the topic concerns your exercise and your heart rate, knowing your intended heart rate will make you be aware of how much effort you’re exerting or how much more effort you need to put in. If you keep track of your heart rate while exercising and have an idea on what zone you need to be in, you can adjust your intensity while also saving some effort so that you can make the most out of your workout.
Increase your heart rate
Aerobic exercises can easily increase your rate and keep the blood flowing. Cycling, plyometric, skipping, swimming, and High Intensity Interval Training are all known to be aerobic exercises.
If you perform any of the said aerobic exercises, you are working your heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply nutrients and oxygen to the working muscles. Research also agrees on the fact that if you’re good at aerobic exercises, you are likely to improve your overall health and lessen your risk of getting chronic diseases.
Reasons why exercise is good for the heart
Get into the zone
At this point, you will know your target training zone from one of the following methods:
The Importance Of Heart Rate When Exercising
When you were a child, the importance of exercise was probably stressed by your parents and teachers. Playing, running and other activities made you feel good. As youve developed into an adult, its harder to find time for exercise. Its time to prioritize exercise in your life because its effects on your heart are numerous and extremely important. In fact, your heart rate is a measurement that should always be tested as you try new and exciting exercises.
Hr And Team Sports Does This Go Hand In Hand
If a jogger checks his HR, why wouldnt a good football player do that as well? After all, both these activities are based on the same thing running, except that a football player runs after a ball and away from the opponent, while a jogger just runs. Lets be honest here, football players get a lot more injuries than runners. They are under just as much pressure when it comes to running, but rapid changes of direction or passes can cause injuries, just like everything else football players do on the pitch. However, injuries triggered by a single event are not as common as overuse injuries and to be quite frank, its really hard to predict or prevent them.
Overuse injuries on the other hand are predictable. If you see that your heart rate is different than it should be, you should consider it as a warning. Your body could be indicating increasing fatigue or upcoming sickness. Isnt health the most important thing in an athletes life? In anyones life really?
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What Is Your Heart Rate
Knowing how to find your pulse can help you figure out your best exercise program. If youâre taking heart medications, recording your pulse daily and reporting the results to your doctor can help them learn whether your treatment is working.
Blood pressure vs. heart rate
Your heart rate is separate from your blood pressure. Thatâs the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels.
A faster pulse doesnât necessarily mean higher blood pressure. When your heart speeds up, like when you exercise, your blood vessels should expand to let more blood pass through.
What Is The Heart Rate
The heart rate is the number of times the heart beats in the space of a minute.
The heart is a muscular organ in the center of the chest. When it beats, the heart pumps blood containing oxygen and nutrients around the body and brings back waste products.
A healthy heart supplies the body with just the right amount of blood at the right rate for whatever the body is doing at that time.
For example, being frightened or surprised automatically releases adrenaline, a hormone, to make the heart rate faster. This prepares the body to use more oxygen and energy to escape or confront potential danger.
The pulse is often confused with the heart rate but refers instead to how many times per minute the arteries expand and contract in response to the pumping action of the heart.
The pulse rate is exactly equal to the heartbeat, as the contractions of the heart cause the increases in blood pressure in the arteries that lead to a noticeable pulse.
Taking the pulse is, therefore, a direct measure of heart rate.
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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.
How Is Resting Heart Rate Calculated
Measuring your resting heart rate is as easy as checking your pulse, which can be felt on the side of your neck or the underside of your wrist .
While sitting down and once you feel your pulse count the number of beats you feel over the span of 30 seconds . Multiply this number by two to calculate your heart beats per minute.
“To get an accurate representation of your resting heart rate, repeat this process a few times and over the course of a few days,” adds Dr. Chebrolu.
She also advises against checking your heart rate immediately after a stressful event, strenuous activity or consuming caffeine, which can lead to temporary elevation in your heart rate.
Additionally, most wearable fitness trackers and smart watches provide insights into your heart rate. And since these devices collect measurements throughout the day, they’re a simple way to effortlessly monitor your average resting heart rate.
“The heart rate measurements taken by wearable devices may not be as reliable as checking your pulse by hand, but they can help you track general trends and spot changes in your resting heart rate,” says Dr. Chebrolu.
And while some smartwatches now come with an ECG feature that can help monitor for heart rhythm issues, these devices alone cannot detect a life-threatening arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation .
Why You Should Monitor Your Exercise Heart Rate
- Your target heart rate is a guideline that can help you stay in a safe exercise heart rate range.
- An average resting heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats each minute.
- Because medication may affect your heart rate, its important to check with your health care provider before starting an exercise routine.
The benefits of regular workouts and exercise are huge.Regular aerobic exercise helps your cardiovascular system become more efficient, transporting oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and working muscles.The more effective your body is at doing this, the more energy you feel, the better your immune system functions, and your risk factors for many diseases are greatly reduced. Exercise also releases endorphins which help reduce stress and improve your emotional and mental health.
Even a little exercise is better than none at all. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you cant find the time for a full half hour workout, three, 10-minute sessions may have similar health benefits, as long as you increase your heart rate to a level that gives your heart a good workout.
What Is Heart Rate Training Why Should You Do It
If you have taken the first step into exercise as a lifestyle, you have broken through the biggest hurdle that separates you from your fitness goals. However, you must continue to improve, and there is plenty of technology that will help you do just that.
Hitting a plateau is almost as frustrating as changing a lifestyle when it comes to your fitness journey. Quantifying your training with a full heart rate training program is one of the best ways to drive onwards and upwards from plateaus and improve more quickly.
What is Heart Rate Training?
Heart rate training is one of the main ways in which professionals and amateurs alike stay away from the most common mistake of cardiovascular training – overdoing it. Yes, you can actually train too much too fast, and doing so will increase your risk of burnout and serious injury. Here are just a few of the advantages of heart rate training and why you should add it to your workout regimen immediately.
The Advantages of Heart Rate Training
When you are training your heart, the best way to get results is to get “in the zone.” Contrary to popular belief, the “zone” is not always as fast as you can go all of the time. In most cases, you want to be between 65 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate for most of your training. As you finish, you may raise your heart rate to 90 percent of your max, but no farther.
Heart rate training will allow you to divide your performance into different zones.
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Avoid Sitting For Long Periods Of Time
Even if you are an avid runner or even a semi-professional athlete, sitting like a couch potato afterwards actually counteracts the physical efforts you had made beforehand. Studies have shown that sitting at your desk or on your couch for long periods of time is just as harmful to your body as smoking does.
That said, we encourage you to get up every so often to walk around and stretch your legs, as means of stimulating your heart rate from time to time and keeping yourself active in the process. In the end, it will be beneficial to your body.
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.
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Important Of Knowing Your Target Heart Rate
How do you get your heart rate on target?
When you work out, are you doing too much or not enough? Theres a simple way to know: Your target heart rate helps you hit the bulls eye. We dont want people to over-exercise, and the other extreme is not getting enough exercise, says Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a cardiologist and professor in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Fla.
Measure Your Heart Rate
To determine your heart rate, use your first two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels on your inner wristthe side by your thumb. Count your pulse for ten seconds and multiply this number by six.
If your heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, you have hit your target heart zone and are working at the right level of intensity.
Wearing a multifunctional fitness tracker such as the Fitbit, or Nike+ FuelBand SE, does the work for you. The device is worn like a bracelet or watch and measures your heart rate.
Exercising at the right level of intensity improves heart and respiratory endurance and helps keep your workout at a level that is vigorous enough to meet your health goals.
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How To Get Your Heart Rate Up
Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat fasterthan it does when youre resting.
Exercise is an important part of disease prevention and that includes cancer prevention, too. But not all exercise is created equal. Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat faster than it does when youre resting.
Getting your heart to beat faster trains your body to move oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently, helps you burn more calories and lowers your cholesterol. All of this can help you stay healthy and lower your cancer risk.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week can help lower your cancer risk. Its the vigorous exercises that can help you get your heart rate up.
How to measure your heart rate
So, how do you determine your heart rate? One of the easiest ways to measure your heart rate is with a monitor, says Whittney Thoman, exercise physiologist at MD Andersons Cancer Prevention Center. This is typically a watch or a strap that goes around your arm or chest that syncs with a watch or another device. Many wearable fitness trackers now include heart rate monitors.
Understanding your heart rate
Now that you know how to measure your heart rate, you can determine:
Check your pulse or your heart rate monitor while youre resting and then again while youre exercising to compare your resting heart rate to your active heart rate.
What Should Your Resting Heart Rate Be
Out of all the health stats to keep your eye on, your resting heart rate might feel like one of the more boring ones.
Seeing your heart rate rise while you’re exercising can be a confidence boost, letting you know you’re getting a good workout in. Checking it when your heart feels like it’s beating out of your chest is a fun reminder of just how anxiety-inducing some everyday situations can be like going on a first date or watching sports.
But when you’re just sitting down binge-watching some TV or typing away at your computer checking your resting heart rate can feel…anti-climactic.
And yet, it’s important to do now and then. A healthy heart is a strong heart, after all.
“Monitoring your resting heart rate is important because it can help provide clues about your overall heart health. For instance, a consistently high resting heart rate can be a sign that your heart isn’t working as efficiently as it could be. In some cases, it can even be a sign of an underlying heart condition,” explains Dr. Bindu Chebrolu, cardiologist at Houston Methodist.
Plus, one of the benefits of knowing your resting heart rate is that there are ways to lower it if it is too high.
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What Affects Resting Heart Rate
1. Regular Exercise. This meta-analyses looked at 191 studies and concluded that regular endurance training and yoga helped lower RHR. Its important that whatever the exercise may be, it should increase heart rate for an extended period of time.
2. Hydration. Staying hydrated helps with blood viscosity and allows the blood to flow through the body more easily, exerting less stress on the heart.
3. Sleep. During consistent, uninterrupted sleep, the body rests, repairs and recovers. Poor or inconsistent sleep can be a large contributor to elevated RHR, putting stress on the heart.
4. Diet. A balanced diet full of healthy fats and low sodium keeps arteries clear, leading to lower RHR and less work for the heart.
5. Stress. Both short and long-term, stress has a significant impact on the heart by increasing RHR. Its important to incorporate healthy habits and routines to keep stress and anxiety at bay and help maintain a healthy RHR.
Importance Of Monitoring Your Workout Heart Rate
While a regular aerobic workout can strengthen your heart, overdoing it or overheating could hurt you. Its important to exercise at a safe and effective level. This is crucial if you have a heart or cardiovascular condition. Monitoring your target heart rate can help you stay in a safe exercise heart rate.
And, because medicines may change your heart rate, its important to check with your health care provider before starting an exercise routine. If this is the case, there are better ways to gauge your exercise intensity than monitoring your heart rate.
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Helpful Numbers To Guide You
Dont confuse your target heart rate with your resting heart rate. This is the number of times your heart beats per minute when your body is at rest, such as right after you wake up.
Resting Heart Rate
For most of us, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The lower this number, the better. It means that your heart is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Some athletes and frequent exercisers can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute!
Target Heart Rate
When you exercise at a moderate intensity, your target heart rate is about 50 70% of your maximum heart rate. When you exercise at a vigorous intensity, its closer to 70 85% of your maximum. You can estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220. Here are some general target heart rate references:
- If youre 20 years old, this number may be between 100 170 bpm.
- If youre 40 years old, this number may be between 90 153 bpm.
- If youre 60 years old, this number may be between 80 136 bpm.