The importance of monitoring your heart rate during exercise cannot be overstated. This crucial measure is intended to provide insight into general health, and reveal whether or not you're making progress toward strengthening your heart and the rest of your body during exercise. Obtaining a steady rate in the healthy range for your age is an excellent goal to aim for. Use these tips for measuring and interpreting your heart rate.
To get an accurate picture of your heart rate while exercising, it's first important to measure your resting heart rate. This should be done right away in the morning, or while you're sitting down. Simply take a stopwatch or set a timer for sixty seconds, and then count the number of heartbeats you feel during that one-minute interval. You can find your pulse on the side of your neck or on your wrist by placing two fingers from one hand on these areas.
During exercise, the heart rate ramps up due to the exertion of the body. Fifteen to twenty beats beyond the regular rate per minute is to be expected from a steady, safe work out routine. Ideally, you should measure your heart rate after about twenty to thirty minutes of exercise. Just pause for a minute and feel for your pulse, with the aid of a stopwatch or timer, if desired.
Alternatively, recovery heart rate can be taken for fifteen seconds. To do it, count your pulse five minutes after exercise ceases, and then multiply the number of beats by four. This is necessary because heart rate rapidly slows after exertion stops.
If manually checking your heart rate seems too daunting, consider using an automatic monitor. Quality monitors by manufacturers like Garmin are perfect for keeping a rolling record of your heart rate, without having to time the pulse yourself. These devices also plug the measurements into mathematical formulas automatically, saving you some computing work.
Understanding your measurements can shed enormous light on the general state of your heart's health. Figuring out your maximum heart rate is useful for comparing it with your actual results. Maximum heart rate is achieved by taking 220 and subtracting your age in years from it. This leaves you with the absolute top your heart rate should ever reach.
For an individual in excellent physical shape, as corroborated by a medical exam, heart rates should stay at or below the maximum during exercise. People at a lower fitness level should stay significantly below their maximum to exercise safely and effectively. Still, it's important to get a good work out. Try to close in on your maximum heart rate to burn the most calories possible.
As with most measurements relating to fitness, it pays to keep a journal of all three heart rates. As you embark on a dedicated fitness program, you should find your heart rate gradually moving toward a healthy range. Continued cardiovascular exercise, as well as weight training, are proven ways to improve heart health. Keeping a steady log of your rates while exercising is important for determining if your exercise routine is actually effective in improving your health, or if adjustments are required to get you to where you want to be.
Getting accurate heart rate measurements is one of the best ways to encourage further exercise. By seeing the steady results that come from monitoring these rates, you'll experience added confidence and enjoyment that comes with building a better you.