Understanding Your Target Heart Rate Zone
Regular exercise is essential when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. But how do you know if you’re working too hard or not hard enough? If you’re trying to lose weight or just want to stay in shape, knowing your target heart rate zone can help you maximize your physical activity.
What Are Target Heart Rates?
Your target heart rate zone is a range of numbers that determines how hard your heart should be beating during exercise.
Before finding your target heart rate, it helps to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you’re at rest.
The most accurate time to calculate your resting heart rate is when you first wake up in the morning. Using a wearable activity tracker or heart rate monitor is the easiest way to find this number. If you don’t have one, you can calculate it manually. Find your pulse by placing the tips of your first two fingers over the artery on the inside of your wrist. Count your pulse for 30 seconds, then multiply that number by two to calculate your beats per minute.
A resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal for most adults. The lower the number, the better; a lower resting heart rate means that your heart can pump blood through your body more efficiently.
How to Find Your Target Heart Rate Zone...
Finding your target heart rate requires some basic math. You’ll first want to find your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the highest number of beats per minute that your heart can pump. This number can be found by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 50 years old, your maximum heart rate is 170.
Once you have this number, you can find your target heart rate zone. For moderate activity, your target heart rate should be between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. For more vigorous activities, that percentage should be closer to 70-85%. Throughout your workout, check your heart rate periodically. If it’s too high, slow down for a couple of minutes until it comes down a bit. If it’s too low, bump up the intensity to get your body working harder.
Things to Remember When Monitoring Your Heart Rate
If you’re new to exercise, stick to the lower end of your target heart rate zone. As you become more fit, you can push yourself closer to 85% of your maximum heart rate. During any kind of workout, be sure to listen to your body. Your heart rate is just one indicator of how hard your body is working. If you feel dizzy or out of breath even if you’re within your target heart rate zone, stop what you’re doing. Don’t overexert yourself if you become uncomfortable.
Lastly, keep in mind that the numbers mentioned here are just a guide. Don’t become too attached to a specific range. The most important thing is to get your body moving. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.