Why Your Resting Heart Rate Is Important
Like all muscles, the heart becomes stronger and larger as a result of exercise. The resulting effects of exercise causes more blood to be pumped through the body with ever heartbeat. This also causes the ability to sustain its maximum level without stress or strain. The resting heart rate for those individuals who do exercise is lower because for them it takes less effort to pump blood.
For men, the healthy range for resting heart rate is 65-70bpm and for women it is 70-75. If your heart rate is higher than the healthy range, regular exercise will help to lower it. And if it is lower than the healthy range that is a good thing. That means you are exercising regularly and have a healthy heart. WebMd states that “regular aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger and more efficient, meaning that your heart pumps more blood each time it contracts, needing fewer beats per minute to do its job.”
According to the Mayo Clinic “Although there’s a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.”
You know your resting, target and maximum heart rate are. The target heart rate is the rate at which your body is in motion from a sustained exercise. You want to measure it during exercise. The goal when exercising is to stay within your Target HR Range or Zone. The target is to be between 75% to 85% of your maximum HR. The most accurate formula for calculating your maximum heart rate was published in 2001 by Tanaka in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Multiply your age by 0.7 and subtract that figure from 208. For example, a 40-year-old has a maximum heart rate of 180 (208 – 0.7 x 40).
Blood pressure is also important. Regular exercises keeps the arteries in the body elastic at any age. This in turn ensures that blood flow and pressure are normal. People are not very active or sedentary have a 35% greater risk of developing hypertension than regular exercisers do. Therefor regular exercise is one of the lifestyle factors that will also help to lower high blood pressure. Optimal Blood Pressure is 120mmHg and 80mmHg for systolic and diastolic respectively. If you are unsure or have not tested your blood pressure in a while go see your family physician.
I suggest these three heart rate monitors if you want to track your target heart rate during exercise:
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