Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, is a global issue people are confronted with worldwide. Follow these heart rate tips from the experts at Life Fitness to gain a better understanding of your heart health.
An adult with a normal resting heart rate should fall between 60 to 100 beats per minute, while a well trained athlete’s normal resting heart rate may be closer to 40 beats per minute. For adults, the lower the resting heart rate, the stronger the heart muscle.
To measure your heart rate, place two fingers firmly on the thumb side of your wrist with your palm facing upward, or place your index and third fingers on your neck near the side of your windpipe. Find your pulse and count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds. Multiply this number by six to determine how many times your heart beats in one minute.
In addition to understanding your resting heart rate, it’s important to know your theoretical maximum heart rate (TMHR) — this is the greatest number of times your heart beats in one minute and becomes the starting point for determining your theoretical fitness training zones. Recently updated by the American Council of Sports Medicine, the equation 207 – (.7 x Age) should be used to find the TMHR of those with a healthy, normal heart history — factors like past cardiac issues or regular extreme physical exertion, like a tri-athlete or an Olympian, may call for a slightly different method of calculating maximum heart rate.
Once you know your TMHR, you can determine your ideal training zone. If you’re a beginning exerciser, try to work at about 50 to 60 percent of your TMHR. A moderately fit person should aim for 60 to 75 percent and an advanced exerciser should shoot for 70 to 85 percent.
Quality cardio machines feature an embedded heart rate system that measures the intensity of your workout. This technology provides vital information about your heart rate and should be used when exercising to help monitor how hard your heart is working.