Introduce Heart Rate Monitoring to Your Workout!

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Adding the valuable skill of heart rate monitoring is helpful for beginners and fitness junkies! There is a key question and concern you should be keeping in mind when working towards your physical goals.

Are you doing too much or not enough? Your target heart rate helps you answer this question, by knowing and understanding this information it helps you accomplish the max benefit from your workouts. Even if you’re not a regular gym person or elite athlete, knowing your heart rate (or pulse) can help you track your health and fitness level.

Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you’re at rest. A good time to check it is in the morning after you’ve had a full night of sleep, before eating or drinking.  The average heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm) according to the American Heart Association. The heart rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. A person that workouts on regular basis may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.

When it comes to resting heart rate a lower reading is better, it usually means your heart muscle is in good condition and doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. According to the American Heart Association studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.

Know Your Numbers: Maximum and Target Heart Rate

The table below shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.

Age

Target HR Zone 50-85%

Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%

20 years 100-170 beats per minute (bpm) 200 bpm
30 years 95-162 bpm 190 bpm
35 years 93-157 bpm 185 bpm
40 years 90-153 bpm 180 bpm
45 years 88-149 bpm 175 bpm
50 years 85-145 bpm 170 bpm
55 years 83-140 bpm 165 bpm
60 years 80-136 bpm 160 bpm
65 years 78-132 bpm 155 bpm
70 years 75-128 bpm 150 bpm

 

In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity it’s about 70-85% of maximum. According to the American Heart Association the figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.

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