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Resting Heart Rate


Resting heart rate is an indicator of cardiac efficiency or how well your heart and lungs work. The more fit an individual is, the lower the heart rate will be before, during, and after exercise. The best time to determine your resting heart rate is when you first awaken in the morning or after sitting down and relaxing for at least 5 minutes. Fitrex will use your resting heart rate to help determine your individual exercise program. To find your resting heart rate, take your pulse at the side of your neck or on your wrist for 15 seconds and count the number of heart beats. Multiply this number times 4 to get the beats per minute number.

The intensity component of training for cardiovascular fitness is critical. The principles of aerobic and anaerobic energy production make it clear that exercise at too great an intensity will use anaerobic metabolism, not the aerobic system that can increase your fitness levels. The higher your level of fitness, the higher your appropriate exercise intensity. Heart rate during exercise can provide an excellent monitor of intensity. Research shows that optimum exercise intensity for fitness improvement is in the range of about 60-90 percent of Age predicted maximum heart rate. (Age predicted maximum heart rate or AMPHR is typically the number 220 minus your age.) "Target heart rate" is a shorthand term used to describe a heart rate at the "training-sensitive zone." To compute your Target Heart Rate, multiply your AMPHR by .60 and again by .90. This range is, for most people, the heart rate at which you will achieve maximum aerobic benefits. For example: If you are 40 years old your AMPHR is 220 minus your age (40) or 180. This figure (180) multiplied by 60 % = 108, and then multiplied by 90% = 162. Your Target Heart Rate (range) is 108 to 162. Exercise at this pace. Compare it with the talk test which takes advantage of the hyperventilation response which indicates you've moved beyond aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. If breathing while you exercise in your target heart range is labored and difficult, the intensity is too great regardless of the numbers. If you can carry on a comfortable conversation while exercising in your target heart range, chances are using a target heart rate is a useful strategy to monitor your fitness training.

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