Why Monitoring Your Heart Rate During Exercise Is Important
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With so much fitness technology on the market, like watches and apps, it may be difficult for you to decide which is worth it for your needs. The one thing many experts can agree on? Monitoring your heart rate is one of the most important parts of your workout. Here’s why.
Heart Rate During Exercise
Your heart rate helps you to judge how your body is reacting to the workout you are putting it through. There are many aspects of your body that need to be taken into account both during and after your workout, including how vigorously you may be over-training your body and how much sleep you are getting.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, aiming for what’s called a “target heart rate” can help you to monitor how hard your heart is working and is the difference between exercising hard enough and overexerting yourself. Johns Hopkins cardiologist, Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H., explains, “Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness.”
Finding Your Target Heart Rate
According to Martin, the first thing you want to know is your resting heart rate. Here is how you can do that –
Find your pulse (inside your wrist, on the thumb side) and count the number of beats in one minute. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100. The more fit you are, he says, the lower your resting heart rate.
Your target heart rate is usually expressed as a percentage (50-85%). The maximum rate is based on your age and subtracted from 220. So, for a 50 year old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. At a 50% exertion level, your target would be 50% of that maximum, or 85 beats per minute. The easiest way to figure that out without a calculator? A fitness tracking device that measures it for you.
Wearable Fitness Technology
Small and light weight, many wearable fitness technologies can go on your wrist or your arm comfortably. Most can help you simplify the tracking of your workouts, breaking your heart rate time into zones like peak, cardio and fat burning. They can also track your resting heart rate day-to-day to see if you’re improving overtime. Get started with a discounted wearable today, at invitehealth.com!