When you sit in a car at a crossroads and find that a runner is checking his pulse while waiting to cross the street, know that he is not wasting time! He monitors his heart rate by monitoring his heart rate during exercise. Knowing your maximum heart rate will help you not to exceed this level during exercise and adjust your training intensity so that your training level reaches the maximum possible.
If you are not comfortable doing the calculations in your mind, use a calculator to determine your maximum heart rate.
Lower your current age from 220 to calculate your maximum heart rate per minute. For example, if you are 40 years old, the calculation you will do is 220 minus 40, which is 180. Thus, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute. You should not exceed this heart rate during exercise.
Exercise within your target heart rate zone to get the most out of each aerobic exercise. According to the American Heart Association, your target area varies between 50 and 85 percent of your heart rate. This means that for someone 40 years old, this target area is between 90 and 153 beats per minute.
Keeping your heart rate within this range ensures that your workout intensity is high enough, but not high enough to put pressure on your heart.
Talk to your doctor about the side effects of any medication you are taking. Some medications can increase or decrease your heart rate.
Calculate your maximum heart rate each year. As you grow older, your maximum heart rate decreases.
To check your heart rate during exercise or even at rest, find your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist or along your trachea. As soon as you find a strong pulse, look at your watch or timer, and count every 10 seconds you feel. Multiply the number by 6 to calculate your current heart rate.