Tackle Your Tuesday: How Do You Rate?

heart rate

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Today was a great day. Work went well, and I ended the day with a wonderful workout. Running is becoming easier, and I feel my lungs opening up more. As my group and I were training tonight, one of my client’s expressed to me that she was feeling fatigue and light headed. This is when I as trainer decided to let her relax. We cut our workout a little short, but it is ok.

Part of exercising is knowing when to stop and listen to your body. Not everyone is at the same level, and as a trainer, it is important to always take this into consideration. In this particular situation I made the call because it could have turned bad really quickly. There are many ways to gage how fatigue you are during a workout. I think it is important to first start off with you heart rate. Are you working too hard for your body, or are you not working hard enough? I found a wonderful article from the American Heart Associations website on how to calculate you target heart rate, and I thought I would share it. I hope you enjoy!

How do you get your heart rate on target?

When you work out, are you doing too much or not enough?
There’s a simple way to know: Your target heart rate helps you hit the bull’s eye. “We don’t want people to over-exercise, and the other extreme is not getting enough exercise,” says Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a cardiologist and professor in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Fla.

First Thing’s First

Before you learn how to calculate and monitor your target training heart rate, you have to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while it’s at rest.
It’s best to check it in the morning after you’ve had a good night’s sleep and before you get out of bed. The average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute, but it’s usually lower for physically fit people. It also rises with age.

Hittin’ the Target

Now you’re ready to determine your target training heart rate. As you exercise, periodically:
•Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist, on the thumb side.
•Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist.
•Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute. You want to stay between 50 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This range is your target heart rate.

Know Your Numbers

The table below shows estimated target heart rates for different ages. In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age. The figures are averages, so use them as general guidelines.

Age

Target HR Zone 50-85%

Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%

20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

Important Note: A few high blood pressure medications lower the maximum heart rate and thus the target zone rate. If you’re taking such medicine, call your physician to find out if you need to use a lower target heart rate.

So what’s in a number?

If your target heart rate is too high, you’re straining. So slow down. If it’s too low, and the intensity feels “light” or “moderate/brisk,” push yourself to exercise a little harder. During the first few weeks of working out, aim for the lowest part of your target zone (50 percent). Then, gradually build up to the higher part (85 percent). After six months or more, you may be able to exercise comfortably at up to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. But you don’t have to exercise that hard to stay in shape.

“It’s not an absolute, but it’s a good tool to have,” says Fletcher, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. “And if you don’t know it, remember, if you’re not able to carry on a conversation (while exercising), that may be a bit too much.”

I hope this helps, and great job Tackling Your Tuesday!

Live. Love. Well & Fit.

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