Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Interactive Tool: What Is Your Target Heart Rate? - How can you use your target heart rate?

You can use your target heart rate to know how hard to exercise to gain the most aerobic benefit from your workout. You can exercise within your target heart rate to either maintain or raise your aerobic fitness level. To raise your fitness level, you can work harder while exercising to raise your heart rate toward the upper end of your target heart rate range. If you have not been exercising regularly, you may want to start at the low end of your target heart rate range and gradually exercise harder.

To take your heart rate during exercise, you can count the beats in a set period of time (for example, 30 seconds) and then multiply by a number to get the number of beats per minute. For example, if you count your heartbeat for 30 seconds, double that number to get the number of beats per minute. You can also wear a heart rate monitor during exercise so you do not have to take your pulse. A heart rate monitor shows your pulse rate continuously, so you see how exercise changes your heart rate. Then you can work harder or easier to keep your heart working in your target heart rate range.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Hardened Arteries: It's About More Than Heart Disease

Lots of people worry about atherosclerosis -- or hardening of the arteries -- as a factor in heart disease and stroke. But did you know that diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity are all major risk factors for atherosclerosis? Take the case of Barbie Perkins-Cooper, 57, a writer from Mount Pleasant, S.C. When she discovered that she had type 2 diabetes, she also discovered that she was at risk for atherosclerosis. What's worse: her high cholesterol...

Read the Hardened Arteries: It's About More Than Heart Disease article > >

Target heart rate is only a guide. Each individual is different, so pay attention to how you feel, how hard you are breathing, how fast your heart is beating, and how much you feel the exertion in your muscles.

Try to make physical activity a regular and essential part of your day. But if you haven't been active, start slowly and be sure to talk to your doctor before you add regular exercise to your day. For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 20, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
heart rate graph
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
Heart Valve
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW