Advertisement

How do I monitor my heart rate during exercise?

There are several methods to monitoring heart rate during exercise. For example you can periodically take your pulse. Once you find your pulse, count the number of beats for 10 seconds and multiply by six. This method is effective but a bit cumbersome. The most effective and easiest form of monitoring your heart rate during exercise is to use a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitors are very effective and provide a lot of feedback in addition to your heart rate such as estimated calories expended and distance traveled. They help you track the intensity of your effort with objective information. This is more precise than relying on how you feel (ratings of perceived exertion).

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
During wour workouts, periodically check your heart rate. If you have a heart rate monitor (a device worn on your chest and wrist that can detect and track your heart rate while you are being active), you can set the alarm limits around your target heart range.

If you do not have a monitor, you can get a rough estimate of your heart rate by counting your pulse for six seconds and adding a zero. You can check your pulse by placing your index and middle fingers lightly on your radial pulse. This is the pulse on the thumb side of your wrist. Press lightly because pressing too heavily will cut off the flow of blood through the vessel, and you will be unable to count. You can also place your fingers lightly on either side of your windpipe (the hard tube you feel in the very center of your throat) to feel your carotid pulse. Do not press too hard or massage this area since this can affect your heart rate. Practice taking your pulse before you start to exercise so you know what you are feeling for before you exercise. If your heart rate is too slow, pick up your pace; if it is too high, then slow down a bit.
Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

More About this Book

Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

It's one of the undeniable facts of life. After we reach a certain age, our bodies change. No matter how fit we may have been at 20, we're very different people after 40. But growing older doesn't...

Continue Learning about Fitness

Get the Most from Exercise DVDs—Without the Hazards
Get the Most from Exercise DVDs—Without the Hazards
You may be a fan of Jillian Michaels’ BodyShred or Shaun T’s CIZE Dance Workout, but over-sexualized, boot-camp-style exercise DVDs can backfire big t...
Read More
Yoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps
Yoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps
Learn the correct moves for doing a simple Sun Salutation. Want to tone up, feel happier and improve your RealAge? Try yoga. Here's why: First, yoga m...
Start Slideshow
8 Clever Tips for the Body You Want
8 Clever Tips for the Body You Want8 Clever Tips for the Body You Want8 Clever Tips for the Body You Want8 Clever Tips for the Body You Want
In the words of Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat, "Everything is a matter of balance." In other words, getting in great shape ...
Start Slideshow
What Is Kung Fu?
What Is Kung Fu?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.