18 Jan 2018
As in leaning on a wall gasping and thinking, “If I live through the next minute, I might tone it down a bit.” That sort of out of breath.
It’s an easy mistake to make, particularly when you’re new to fitness and want that chiselled physique yesterday. Question - are we hitting the gym a bit hard? Is the gym actually hitting us and putting our poor old (or young) heart through some potentially risky tests?
How do we gauge the impact high intensity exercise has on our heart? Not quite so easy; our heart rate simply returns to where it should be without any quibbles.
That said, if you’re working super hard and your heart is working super hard with you, you need to operate better as a team.
That’s the first thing you need to know – the upper limit your heart can beat at before your head explodes and your feet fall off. And your maximum workout heart rate is surprisingly easy to calculate.
You simply subtract your age from 220. Let’s say you’re 92. You simply subtract 92 from 220; as a 92 year old gym junkie, your maximum heart rate would be 128 beats per minute (bpm) more in keeping with line dancing than Zumba.
If, however, you’re 22, your maximum heart rate is a whopping 198 bpm. That’s the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.
And do realise that word ‘maximum’ isn’t something to aim for; it’s not darts. Your maximum heart rate is like your maximum time underwater before you have to rise gasping to the surface. It’s not a goal; it’s a limit to be avoided.
For moderate exercise, your heart rate should be 50-70 percent of your maximum. For intense exercise, make sure it’s no more than 85 percent, but preferably around 70. We found this handy tool to help you calculate your heart rate.
All good? No, there’s still one small issue.
Stop and check your pulse rate for 15 seconds at any point during your workout; you can do this on your wrist or your neck. Count the pulses for 15 seconds. Whatever it is, multiply it by four for your beats per minute rate. If it’s in the zone, thrash away; if it’s not, ease back on your exercise.
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