Why Monitor Your Heart Rate?

People’s heart rates vary considerably, depending on what they are doing, their levels of fitness, what medications they are on, and their age.

Knowing how to measure a maximum heart rate, and understanding how target your heart rate zone while exercising can set the stage for successful weight loss, get the maximum benefits of any exercise regime and ultimately help you to understand the overall health of your heart.

There is a range of exercise intensities that is described as safe and effective for promoting cardiovascular benefits. To determine what range is best for you, you’ll need to be familiar with a few terms.

1. Resting heart rate:

Resting heart rate is the number of beats in one minute while you are at a complete rest state. Your resting heart rate indicates your basic overall heart health and fitness level. The more conditioned your body is, the less effort it needs to make to pump blood thru your body.

Men

Age

         

18–25

26–35

36–45

46–55

56–65

65+

Athlete 49–55 49–54 50–56 50–57 51–56 50–55
Excellent 56–61 55–61 57–62 58–63 57–61 56–61
Good 62–65 62–65 63–66 64–67 62–67 62–65
Above Average 66–69 66–70 67–70 68–71 68–71 66–69
Average 70–73 71–74 71–75 72–76 72–75 70–73
Below Average 74–81 75–81 76–82 77–83 76–81 74–79
Poor 82+ 82+ 83+ 84+ 82+ 80+

Women

Age

         

18–25

26–35

36–45

46–55

56–65

65+

Athlete 54–60 54–59 54–59 54–60 54–59 54–59
Excellent 61–65 60–64 60–64 61–65 60–64 60–64
Good 66–69 65–68 65–69 66–69 65–68 65–68
Above Average 70–73 69–72 70–73 70–73 69–73 69–72
Average 74–78 73–76 74–78 74–77 74–77 73–76
Below Average 79–84 77–82 79–84 78–83 78–83 77–84
Poor 85+ 83+ 85+ 84+ 84+ 85+

 

2. Maximal heart rate:
This number is related to your age. As we grow older, our hearts start to beat a little more slowly. To estimate your maximal heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220 if your male. Female subtract your age from the number 226.

For example: Male Age 40=Max heart rate: 220-40=180!

3. Target heart-rate zone:
This is the number of beats per minute (bpm) at which your heart should be beating during aerobic exercise. For most healthy individuals, this range is 50 to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate. So, if your maximal heart rate is 180 bpm, the low end of the range (50 percent) would be 90 bpm, and the high end of the range (80 percent) would be 144 bpm.

A final word about heart-rate monitoring

Remember, your estimated target heart-rate zone is just that – an estimate. If you feel like you are exercising too hard, you probably are. The best advice is to reduce your intensity and find a heart-rate range that works for you.

How to measure yourself?

Picture of measuring

Find your puls on your back side of your left or right hand with two fingers. Count the puls for 30 seconds and then multiply by two. This will give you a good estimation about your current heart rate.

 

Fitness Target Zones: Heart Rates

Exercise Level

Benefits

Intensity Level

(Max HR %)

Light Exercise Healthy HeartMaintenance 50% – 60%
Weight Loss Burn Fat & Calories 60% – 70%
Base – Aerobic Increase stamina & endurance 70% – 80%
Conditioning Fitness conditioning, muscle building, and athletic training 80% – 90%
Athletic – elite Athletic training and endurance 90% – 100%

 

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