Why You Should Monitor Your Exercise Heart Rate

Did you know 90% of heart disease is preventable through better diet, exercise, and quitting smoking? The benefits of exercise for your cardiovascular — and overall — health are almost limitless, but you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

A great way to optimize the heart health benefits of exercise is to monitor your heart rate so you stay within healthy and effective ranges. To explain this further, integrative cardiologist Dr. Yogesh Paliwal and the team here at Indus Cardiology present the following information.

Getting your heart rate up

There are many reasons why the American Heart Association recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. First, your heart is a muscle and, as such, can benefit from conditioning and strengthening like any other muscle in your body. 

Second, exercise promotes good vascular health by keeping your blood circulating smoothly through your body to prevent blockages (atherosclerosis), one of the primary risk factors for heart disease.

Third, exercise helps burn energy, which can prevent fats (cholesterol) and sugars from building up in your bloodstream.

Quite simply, getting your heart rate up through exercise is incredibly important in preventing potentially life-threatening heart disease.

Reaching your target heart rate

We’ve discussed that you need to get your heart rate up, but what exactly do we mean? When you’re at rest, your heart rate should fall between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The fitter you are, the lower this number is; your heart is in great shape and doesn't need to work as hard.

When you exercise, we want you to hit an ideal heart rate, about 50%-85% of your maximum heart rate. A good rule of thumb for your maximum heart rate is subtracting your age from 220. 

So, if you’re 50 years old, your maximum heart rate is 170. From there, your target heart rate when you exercise should be 85-145 beats per minute. 

For a great chart for different age groups, click here.

The benefits of hitting your target heart rate are twofold:

  1. You’re pushing hard enough to reap the benefits of exercise
  2. You’re not pushing too hard

In other words, your target heart rate is the ideal zone to strengthen and condition your cardiovascular system without overtaxing it and putting yourself in danger. 

While you can figure much of this out on your own, we suggest you see us for a cardiology consultation first. During this important visit, we can get a good baseline of your heart health to create ideal target heart rates specific to your unique circumstances.

Simplify the math

Once we sit down and figure out an ideal exercise regimen to boost your heart health, you can take all the guesswork out of monitoring your heart rate while you exercise with a wearable device, such as a watch or chest strap. 

These handy devices track your heart rate and other important aspects of your exercise to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

For expert guidance in improving your heart health through exercise, please contact one of our offices in Pomona, Montclair, or West Covina, California, to schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can the Flu Trigger a Heart Attack?

Can the Flu Trigger a Heart Attack?

Getting sick with the flu causes enough misery; the last thing you need is additional worries. But you still need to know that the flu can trigger a heart attack or cause other heart complications that put you in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
What to Know About Statin Therapy

What to Know About Statin Therapy

Statin therapy is not a miracle cure for heart disease, but it may be the next best thing since it can significantly decrease your risk of plaque buildup. Learn more about the benefits of statin therapy and why our specialist may recommend it.
What Does an AFib Episode Feel Like?

What Does an AFib Episode Feel Like?

About 3-6 million Americans have a condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib), meaning an irregular heartbeat. Are you experiencing symptoms that you think might be AFib? Learn what this condition typically involves. 
Heart Issues Younger Adults Should Know About

Heart Issues Younger Adults Should Know About

If it seems like the potential for heart problems is mostly a worry for older folks, keep reading. Several issues can increase a young person’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Benefits of a Defibrillator After a Cardiac Arrest

Benefits of a Defibrillator After a Cardiac Arrest

You may have seen a defibrillator in action while watching a medical drama on TV or at the movies. But did you know there are different types, and they can offer numerous benefits? Take a moment to learn more about these devices.
Breaking Down the 6 Most Common Arrhythmias

Breaking Down the 6 Most Common Arrhythmias

Arrhythmia occurs when your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or irregularly. Some arrhythmias are harmless, while others can quickly become life-threatening. Read on for a deeper dive into six common arrhythmias.