Want To Get Fit? These Are The Heart Rates You Should Be Measuring

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Fitness & Sport Management Blog

Exercising at the right intensity can help you get the most out of your physical activity — making sure you’re not pushing too hard or too little. There are three heart rates that you should be considering when training in order to get fit

Resting Heart Rate

This is your heart rate when you are not engaging in any physical activity which elevates it, or when you are in a state of rest such as when you’re sleeping. As you become fitter, this number will decrease as your heart and lungs have become stronger.

Your heart is also then able to pump more blood (something which is called stroke volume) throughout the body while expending less effort. The lungs are able to take in more oxygen, which is called maximum oxygen uptake, with less effort. This means that more blood and oxygen to the working muscles which makes up the endurance portion of being fit.

A standard resting heart rate can vary as low as 40 BPM to as high as 100 BPM. 70 BPM is often the average for a man, and 75 BPM is average for a woman. The resting heart rate should be utilised as an index in order to improve your cardiovascular fitness level. Focus on decreasing your resting heart rate.

The best time in order to measure your resting heart rate is when you first wake up. The beats of the radial pulse are correctly measured in your wrist. in line with the base of your thumb. Put the tips of your index as well as middle fingers over the radial artery and then apply a light pressure to it. Do not utilise your thumb as it has a pulse of its own. Count the beats for one full minute in order to get the heart rate or for 30 seconds and multiply by two for the number of beats per minute.

Exercise Heart Rate

This is the rate at which your heart beats when body is in motion owing to a sustained exercise. The goal is to stay within your target heart rate range or zone, which is usually between 75 and 85% of your maximum heart rate. You maximum heart rate is the rate at which your heart beats at its full capacity.

During sustained aerobic activity , you never want to work at 100% of your maximum heart rate except if a professional has you on a specific programme which is designed for that. Your fitness level must also be able to sustain it. If you work out at 100% of max this will cause you to cross over the anaerobic threshold. These numbers can be different dependent on your age as well as fitness level.

The exercise pulse is most correctly palpated at the larger Carotid Artery on the side of your neck. It is usually to be found beside the larynx:

  • Place your index as well as middle fingers alongside the bottom of your ear lobe.
  • Slide these down to the side of your throat and then apply a light pressure.

DO NOT apply heavy pressure to the carotid artery when measuring your exercise heart rate. These arteries have bar receptors that sense increases in pressure. As a result they will respond by slowing down your heart rate. You will feel this pulse quite easily during a workout, so heavy pressure is not needed to locate this heart rate.

Take the exercise heart rate for 10 seconds,

always counting the first beat as “0,” then multiply by 6. This number is your Exercise HR.

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Max Heart Rate

In order to see what your maximum heart rate is, take 220 and minus your age. This is accurate to approximately 15 BPM. Take this number and multiply it by  .75 to .85. This will give you your percentages of 75% – 85% of your maximum heart rate. This is the target range or zone that you want to stay in when doing any type of cardiovascular (aerobic) activity. When in this range your body is getting an optimum workout with maximum benefit, and it stays in a fat-burning mode.

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