How to Measure Heart Rate
Normally, you obtain your resting heart rate by measuring the number of beats per minute for sixty seconds. When you're in the heat of intensive exercise such as jogging, it takes more skillful measurements to avoid breaking your concentration. First, locate a steady pulse that's easy to find. This is normally the artery along the side of the neck, just below the jaw line, or veins on the wrist. Fortunately, finding a firm beat is easier when heart is up, as is the case while running.
With two fingers on the measurement zone that's easiest for you to measure, pause for six seconds and measure the beats. You might try doing this count two or three times in between steady jogging, just to get a more accurate estimate. Next, simply multiply this number by ten and you'll have a high quality estimate of your heightened heart rate.
It's important to compare and contrast your jogging heart rate with the maximum heart rate appropriate for your age. Maximum heart rate is determined by subtracting your age from 220. This figure shows the absolute ceiling your heart rate should reach, and anything beyond that could cause serious strain or breach safety concerns. Keep your exercise heart rate lower than this top tier to keep jogging without worries.
If you need total precision or you don't trust manual measurements, try picking up a mobile heart monitor. These affordable devices can be strapped onto your chest or wrist, and they check your pulse rate at regular intervals. The more advanced models are capable of storing this information for later use. This is an excellent way to take the effort and estimation out while jogging.
Logging Heart Rate Over Time
To improve as a runner, tracking your heart rate over a long period is important. If you're measuring your rates by hand, consider carrying a small pocket sized journal with you to write it down, along with the date and time. With a heart monitor, data recall functions allow you to record the measurements later. In either case, you definitely want a written record of where your heart rate is going to identity trends.
Over time, you should see steady improvement. Measuring your heart rate also indicates whether or not your work outs are effective. For instance, if you notice your rates consistently falling well below the maximum range, then it may be time to crank up the intensity.
After a little bit of practice, you'll find that measuring your heart rate comes naturally. Interpreting the results is equally as important as finding your rate, since this is what ultimately allows you to fine tune a jogging routine that's customized for you.