Target Heart Rate


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Knowing your Target Heart Rate

Abbreviations:

HR = Heart Rate
Max HR = Maximum Heart Rate
HRmax = Maximum Heart Rate
HRrest = Resting Heart Rate
THR = Target Heart Rate
BPM = beats per minute

Your heart rate is expressed by heartbeats per given unit of time, the time is usually expressed in minutes. Heartrate changes as the body's need to consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide changes, it increases with exercise and decreases with sleep. Your pulse as a diagnostic tool is used by medical professionals to discover and treat medical conditions while athletes monitor their pulse to obtain the maximum benefits from their training programs. The pulse can be measured anywhere on the body using your index and middle finger, your thumb should never be used in reading a pulse due to the strength of your pulse may affect the reading you are taking. Regardless of all the areas you can take a pulse I use main arteries, here is a list of some of them.

1. Radial artery on the wrist
2. Ulnar artery
3. Carotid artery in the neck
4. Brachial artery inside the elbow
5. Femoral artery in the groin
6. Popliteal artery behind the knee

A precise way of checking the pulse would be to use an electrocardiograph to take an EKG reading, this is done by a medical professional to see how your heart is working. This has little to no use for the athlete. There are commercial heart rate monitors that are basically a chest strap with a wrist watch type monitor to get readings while working out.

The formula; There are several formulas used to calculate maximum heart rates, they are all close estimates because everyone's individual body and it's functions are slightly different.

The most common and accurate is an individuals age subtracted from 220 which gives the maximum heart rate, for example, a forty year olds maximum heart rate would be 180 so his/her target rate for the most productive workout would fall between 125 to 160. There are rare circumstances where this target heart rate is not producing results and you need to make changes so pay attention to your body and make small changes, this is extremely rare but thought it was worth mentioning.

There are other methods of calculating heart rates that break it down into percentages like the Karvonen method, the Zoladz method breaks in down into exercise zones of different intensity.

Resting Heart rate is someone's heart rate when they are sitting or lying still and have not recently exerted themselves, the typical resting rate in adults is 60 - 90 beats per minute. Resting rates under 60 beats per minute are common in athletes, especially cyclists. The lower pulse in conditioned athletes is caused by hypertrophy of the cardiac muscles, causing more blood to be pumped per beat.

Average people with under 60 beats per minute is known as Bradycardia while rates above 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia.

To get this measurement take your pulse when you are in a resting state.

Children's resting heart rate depends on their age, they can have rates as high as 200 beats per minute while exercising.

Heart rates thet don't drop more then 12 beats per minute one minute after working out indicate and increased risk of death.


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