Reach Your Fitness Goals

Pulse Rate and Exercise

Pulse rate is an important part of exercise. Here is what you need to know.

When you exercise you should pay attention to your pulse rate or your heart rate. Your pulse rate gives you a better picture of the way that blood circulates through the heart and the body. During an exercise routine, respiration increase causing your pulse rate to rise.

There are two types of pulse rate that you should be aware of:

Resting Heart Rate

The less fit you are, the higher your resting heart rate will be. You can check your resting pulse rate every few months to help track your progress when you are using an exercise routine to get in shape. If it decreases over time, your exercise routine is having the desired effect. If it has increased, you may be working too hard and should go to a doctor to have your health checked. Measure your resting heart rate when you wake up first thing in the morning before you are even out of bed. Find your pulse using your index finger and middle finger and count how many beats occur in 60 seconds.

Target Zone Pulse

This is the heart rate that you are reaching during exercise. If you are exercising at a consistent level, you should be at the lower end of your target zone and if you are working intensely, you should be at the upper end of your target zone. Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age (220 – 30 = 190). Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to get the heart rate reserve. Assuming your resting heart rate was 70 it would look like this: 190 – 70 = 120. Your target zone is 60-80% of your max heart rate plus your resting heart rate, so your lower target zone is 120 x .6 = 72 + 70 = 142 and your upper target zone is 120 x .8 = 96 + 70 = 166.

By being aware of your pulse rate as you exercise you can monitor how hard you are working. You can take periodic breaks during exercise to check your heart rate or you can use heart rate monitoring equipment to keep track of the intensity level that you are working at while you exercise.

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