It’s very important to track heart rate. It can help you set fitness goals and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack by helping you to maintain a healthy heart.
Remember in school, when they taught you how to track your heart rate? It was a bit complicated process – you had to put your finger on a pulse point and count how many pulses you feel per minute. But, now with wearable activity trackers, it’s dead simple to track your heart rate, according to Wired.
Here’s how to do it
Once you strap on your fitness tracker or Smartwatch, you’ll start seeing your bpm on the screen.
“It’s important to understand that there is a spectrum of what constitutes a normal heart rate,” says Dr. Gregory Marcus, Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco.
You might have read that a healthy resting heart rate typically falls between 60 and 100 bpm. But according to Dr. Marcus, it’s not so simple, since heart rates vary from person to person.
“In many cases, the more fit a given individual is, the more their heart rate will slow while they’re at rest or while they’re asleep,” says Dr. Marcus. This means that a good athlete might see their resting heart rate slows to 30, even 20 bpm. This is because the heart muscle of a physically fit person doesn’t have to strain as much to support the body’s needs.
Wired report urges you to start by determining your target heart rate. You should keep in mind that this target heart rate is the one you achieve during exercise. You may want to get help from a physician or trainer to determine your target heart rate.
There are some rough guidelines provided by the American Heart Association. First, you need to calculate the average maximum heart rate for someone your age. It can be done by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you are 25 years of age, your maximum heart rate would be around 195 bpm. Your target heart rate can be anywhere between 50 and 85% of your maximum heart rate.
During workout, simply glance at your wearable tracker. Wearables like Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple Watches have compatible apps that graph your heart rate over time. You can easily see your bpm and have a solid idea of the intensity of your workout.
Get the right wearable
It is very important that you buy the right fitness tracker. Some wearables give more accurate heart rate readings than others. While wrist wearables are for the most part precise enough for everyday use, chest wearables give you the most accurate readings.