Target heart rate

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:33 pm
When you exercise, it's important to work at an intensity level that's right for you. This is defined as your target heart rate. The target heart rate is what your pulse rate should be in order to exercise safely and to receive the maximum cardiovascular benefits. When you work out, it is recommended that you maintain this rate for thirty minutes, at least three times a week. Your target heart rate can be determined by considering your age and how well conditioned you are. First, determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from two hundred and twenty. This number is the maximum number of times your heart can beat in one minute. If you're just starting an exercise program, it is recommended that your target heart rate be between sixty and seventy-five percent of your maximum heart rate. After six months, you can start to increase your heart rate to eighty-five percent. The easiest way to check your heart rate is to place the tips of your middle and index fingers in the groove of your throat just to the side of the Adam's apple. Count the number of heart beats for six seconds and then multiply the number by ten. If you're not within your range, you may need to adjust the intensity of your exercise up or down to reach your target heart rate. Remember, your target heart rate is only a guide, so listen to your body for signs of injury or overexertion. If you're over thirty-five or have medical problems, be sure to check with a health care professional before beginning any exercise program. For more information on target heart rate, consult a health care professional.

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