About your pulse?
Knowing how to take your pulse can help you evaluate your exercise program. If you are taking heart medications, recording your pulse on a daily basis and reporting the results to your health care provider can help your provider determine if the medications are working properly.
How to take your pulse
2. Press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You may need to move your fingers around slightly up or down until you feel the pulsing.
3. Use a watch with a second hand, or look at a clock with a second hand.
4. Count the beats you feel for 10 seconds. Multiply this number by 6 to get your heart rate in beats per minute.
Check your pulse: _______________ x 6 =
What is maximum heart
220 - Your Age = Predicted Maximum Heart Rate
Example: a 40-year-old's predicted maximum heart rate is 180. (220 - 40 = 180)
Your actual maximum heart rate can be determined by a graded exercise test.
Please note that some medications and medical conditions may affect your maximum heart rate. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition (such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes), always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.
Target heart rate
Do not exercise above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This increases both cardiovascular and orthopedic risk and does not add any extra benefit.
Always check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. Your health care provider can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals and physical condition.
When beginning an exercise program, you may need to gradually build up to a level that is within your target heart rate zone, especially if you have not exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. You will reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don't try to over-do it!
To find out if you are exercising in your target zone (between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate), stop exercising and check your pulse. If your pulse is below your target zone (see the chart below), increase your rate of exercise. If your pulse is above your target zone, decrease your rate of exercise.