Target heart rates let you measure your initial fitness level and monitor your progress in a fitness program. This approach requires measuring your pulse periodically as you exercise and staying within 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This range is called your target heart rate. To receive the benefits of physical activity, it's important not to tire too quickly. Pacing yourself is especially important if you've been inactive. Target Heart Rate is a good way for health professionals to monitor your progress.
How to Check Your Heart Rate
- Right after you stop exercising, take your pulse: Place the tips of your first two fingers lightly over one of the blood vessels on your neck, just to the left or right of your Adam's apple. Or try the pulse spot inside your wrist just below the base of your thumb
- Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply the number by 6.
- Check your pulse periodically to see if you are exercising within your target zone. As you get in better shape, try exercising within the upper range of your target zone. (If just beginning an exercise program, consult your doctor first.)