Having more knowledge about your heart rate is a great way to monitor overall health and condition. The American Heart Association recommends these simple techniques for learning your max and resting heart rate.
December 4, 2019
Measuring your heart rate is an important part of monitoring your health. Calculating your max heart rate is one way to ensure you don’t overexert yourself during rigorous exercise and to better measure your fitness progress.
Knowing your max and resting heart rate will give you more comfort and control when it comes to exercise intensity and your overall health. Exercising at the correct intensity can help you get the most out of your physical activity and making sure you’re not pushing too hard or too little. The most common way to find your maximum heart rate is by using one of the many age-related equations. One of the most popular is the Fox formula: 220 – Age = MHR.
According to the American Heart Association, before learning how to calculate and monitor your target training heart rate, you should know your resting heart rate. A good way to check is in the morning after you’ve had a good night’s sleep and before you get out of bed. The average ranges should be:
In order to measure your max resting heart rate, begin your normal exercise routine. After moderate exercise, take your pulse on the inside of your wrist with the tips of your first two fingers. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 in order to get an accurate estimate of your BPM.
From the American Heart Association, this table shows the estimated target heart rates and maximum heart rate by age. Everybody is different. These figures are merely meant to be averages, so use them as general guidelines.
The American Heart Association recommends exercising with a target heart rate of 50-75% of your max heart rate for beginners and moderate exercise. If you have experience training heavily, you can work out at 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.
When your heart rate is too fast, it’s called tachycardia. For adults, a fast heart rate is generally defined as a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia can be dangerous depending on the underlying conditions and causes. Possible causes include anemia, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, or congenital heart disease, among others.
Visit the Valleywise Health blog to learn more about heart health and talk with Valleywise practitioners at your local Community Health Center to learn more about ways to stay healthy. Visit the rest of the Valleywise Health blog to get more information about cardiology and other services.