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How to measure your heart rate (with these devices)



Your heart rate, also called your heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute.

Your heart rate can be a valuable tool to help you monitor your health and fitness level, even if you're not a serious athlete. It can also help you determine the intensity levels of exercise, make sure you get the most out of your workouts and help you constantly improve.

More, know and monitor your heart rate, you can detect current or developing health problems, such as arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) or tachycardia (unusually high heart rate).

How to measure different types of heart rate

There are four different heart rate measurements you should know about. They all have a place to monitor health and exercise, but your dormant heart rate and maximum heart rate are the two most important.

Resting Heart Rate

Your dormant heart rate is the rate at which your heart beats when you do nothing. When you do not exercise or exercise, your heart pumps the lowest amount of blood you need to survive and burn your body.

  11-apple-watch-series-4-major-44mm

Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day.


Sarah Tew / CNET

The average resting rate is 60 to 80 beats per minute. This, however, varies: It is usually lower for people who often train and higher for people who are relatively sedentary. Resting heart rate also often increases as you get older, when you are sick and when you are stressed or worried.

How to measure heart rate

To determine your resting heart rate in the old school, simply count how many times your heart beats in one minute. Your reading will be more accurate if you measure it in the morning before going out of bed. To measure your resting pulse, follow these steps:

  • Select a location where you can sense your heart rate. The best places to find your heart rate are on your wrists, the inside of your elbows, the edge of your feet and the side of your neck, just below your jaw.
  • Place two fingers on the pulse location and count the number of strokes you know in 60 seconds.

Use a stopwatch during this process because it is unlikely that you can count both pulse and seconds in the head. Counting in full 60 seconds gives the most accurate result, but you can also count for 30 seconds and multiply that number by two.

For example, if I count 30 pulses in 30 seconds, I would multiply it by two to get 60 for my resting pulse.


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Highest heart rate

Your maximum heart rate is a measure of the heart's maximum stroke per minute. The average highest heart rate varies greatly depending on age, exercise level and other factors, such as medical conditions and genetics.

The easiest way to estimate your maximum heart rate is a simple math calculation. Subtract your age from 220 to get an age-predicted max heart rate.

The formula 220-minus age is the traditional way to measure max heart rate and is still widely used. However, this equation is considered incorrect by some researchers, and a revised formula is now often used: 208 -0.7 x your age.

Note that no calculation represents your training level, genes or other factors. Because of this, the standard deviation is 10 to 20 beats per minute. That is, your true maximum heart rate can be 10 to 20 beats per minute higher or lower than the difference in these equations.

Heart Rate Reserve

Heart Rate Reserve refers to the difference between your maximum heart rate and your rest day rate. Heart rate reserve is most often used to estimate a person's ideal training zones. High school practitioners use these zones to optimize training.

To measure the heart rate reserve, follow these steps:

  • Determine your resting heart rate method above or use data from an activity tracker or other device (more about them below).
  • Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
  • Draw your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to determine your heart rate reserve.

For example, my dormant heart rate is 58 beats per minute, based on the average my Fitbit gives me. My heart rate is 198 (I am 22 years old, so I used 220 minus 22).

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Target Pulse

Target Pulse is often used interchangeably with heart rate reserve as it is used for similar purposes, but they are actually different. Your heart rate is generally defined as 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, and this range is considered the best fat burning area for exercise.

50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate represents moderate intensity training, and 70 to 85 percent represents intense exercise. To find your heart rate, simply multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.50 and 0.85.

Example: My maximum heart rate is 198 (based on the 220 minus formula).

  • 198 x 0.50 = 99
  • 198 x 0.85 = 168.3

My target pulse during exercise is between 99 beats per minute and about 170 beats per minute. Keep in mind that ideal training zones differ from person to person.

For example, I know that I can train continuously at the upper end of my target pulse area, but I have been driving long distance and doing CrossFit for several years. A beginner should start in the lower end of his target heart rate range and increase the intensity when their fitness improves.

Best Devices to Measure Heart Rate

So now you know all different types of heart rate and how to measure them using clocks and mat. Although the traditional methods are not so difficult, there are easier – and potentially more accurate – ways to measure and track your heart rate.

Of course, the most accurate readings come from a [laboratory] test or other clinical method . But since most do not have access to and do not need these methods, these devices work well.

Activity tracker or smartwatch

Activity tracker is simply the most convenient way to measure your heart rate. They are relatively inexpensive they do not take up much space and they have a significant battery life. Best of all, activity tracker is comfortable to wear for long periods of time to get a very accurate measurement of your heart rate.

With a Fitbit, Apple Watch Garmin or other tracker you can measure your heart rate all the time: when you are sleep during normal daily activities and during exercise. They then present these data to you in an easy way to digest. Activity tracker and smartwatches use optical technology to read the wrist pulse. With optical technology, your tracker sends light into your skin and reads the light running back.

Apple Watch Series 4 can even create a PDF of your heart beat that you can share with your doctor.

Brush Band

Brush band heart screens are probably the most economical way to measure your heart rate – they tend to be cheaper than smartwatches and other methods. The brush bands work by reading the small electrical signal your body sends when your heart interacts. They tend to be more accurate than smart watches, but they do have some fallout.

Chest straps can be uncomfortable because they are stuck around the sternum. If they become loose during exercise, they may slip, move out of place or cause chafing. It is difficult to adjust a chest strap during running, so an incorrect one can cause problems if you are in the middle of a marathon or a competition.

In addition, a chest strap does not provide visual feedback during exercise such as a smartwatch or fitness tracker, unless you have a Bluetooth-connected tracker elsewhere on your body.

Headphones

One of the newer ways to measure your heart rate is with sports headphones. Many brands now offer headphones with built-in optical heart rate detectors. Headphones with heart speakers are generally more expensive than other types of monitors, but they are well worth it if you need new headphones anyway.

Heart rate monitor headphones are a good option if you want to measure your heart rate during exercise comfortably and correctly. However, it is doubtful that they would be comfortable sleeping in, so getting a picture of your dormant heart rate with this type of device would be difficult.

When to see a professional about heart rate

Some medications or irregularities in heart rate can warrant a visit to your graduate. For example, many people are asked on beta blockers (to lower blood pressure) by the doctor to monitor and log pulse. Keeping tabs on your heart rate may be helpful to your doctor when determining the dose or other treatment.

Also, if your heart rate is very low, very high or often changes between the two, tell your doctor immediately. Your heart rate is an intelligible tool in the status of your health and fitness level. Always check with a doctor before starting an exercise program.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for health or medical care. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.

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