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Heart Rate Reveals Risk of Sudden Death

Test May Show Heart-Rate Abnormalities in Seemingly Healthy Men

What to Do

The American Heart Association statement on preventing heart attacks and deaths from coronary disease recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity three to four times a week in addition to lifestyle changes.

Knowing how to take your heart rate (pulse) at rest can help.

Calculating your peak (or maximum) heart rate can be done by using the following formula:

220 - Your Age = Predicted Maximum Heart Rate

Example: a 40-year-old's predicted maximum heart rate is 180.

Once you've determined your maximum heart rate you can then easily figure out your exercise heart rate. This is 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate depending on the intensity of exercise. Your doctor may recommend a lower exercise heart rate depending on your health.

So the 40-year-old with a maximum heart rate of 180 should exercise at a heart rate between 108 and 144.

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