How to Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

How to Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

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If you are going to be doing aerobic exercise for the rest of your life, it might not be a bad idea to have some sense of how hard you are working out. Your heart rate is the best measure of aerobic intensity; it tells you everything. And the best way to know your heart rate is to get and use a heart rate monitor.

          Go to a sports store and buy the simplest one they have. A heart rate monitor is a two-part gizmo—a strap that goes around your chest and a wristwatch that goes around your (duh) wrist. The strap picks up the electric signal sent out every time your heart beats and transmits it to the little watch. Once it starts to pick up the beat (it often takes a while), look down and there is your heart rate.

          Pretty soon, you are going to want to know what percent of your “maximum heart rate” that number on the little watch represents. That is what this is all about. To figure out your own max, use this simple formula: Take 70 percent of your age and subtract that number from 208. The result is the best estimate of your maximum heart rate. Thus, I am eighty (not my fault: I have a note from Harry); 70 percent of that is 56. I subtract that from 208 and come up with an estimated max of 152. If you are fifty, your estimated max will be 173.

          Then figure out 60 percent, 70 percent, 85 percent of your max with a pencil and paper. Memorize ‘em or write ‘em down. They’ll come in handy. A day when you get to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate and stay there for about thirty minutes is a day you are working out.

          Because individuals vary a lot, no formula is accurate for everyone. My real max is 165, not 152, for example. The only real answer is to find your real max. Wait until you are in really good shape, then do some serious exercise, like intervals, until your heart rate is up near 90 percent of your max. Stop before you think you have to and look at your heart rate monitor. The highest number you see is your actual max. (Actually, since you stopped a bit short of the hardest you could go, add five points and call that your actual max.)

This Article is taken from Younger Next Year

Written by Arshad. A

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