Have you ever timed your own heart rate?
If you haven’t then you should.
Most often, the heart rate alone is not necessarily something to be alarmed about, but coupled with other symptoms it can indicate that something more serious may be taking place with your health. Living longer is a desire that most of us have. Living longer in good health is what we should strive for. No one wants to live to a ripe old age and not be fit to do the things we still love to do.
There are tons of articles online that speak to our vanity. They talk about things such as how to look slim and hot at the beach, or a myriad of things that appeal to the part of us that wants to look great. Looking great is good, but being physically fit is of course much more important! What is seen on the outside may look nice but what counts is what’s going on in the inside. Your heart plays a very big part in your general health and fitness. One of the first things that you can do in order to remain or become physically fit is to measure your heart rate. Taking part in monitoring your own health is something that you can do as part of an overall wellness check. Part of this monitoring should include measuring your heart rate.
The Importance of Measuring your Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is important because if your heart rate is too high or too low it can be a sign that the heart is not functioning correctly.
If your heart rate is not routinely measured, this sign may go unnoticed and develop into a bigger problem for your heart later on. It is also important to measure your heart rate to know the target rate that should be reached during exercise. The pulse is lower at rest and increases with exercise. What is considered to be a normal heart rate at rest will vary, depending on who you are. The average adult has a heart rate between 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). For a trained athlete, the resting heart rate is about 40 beats per minute. For adults who are healthy, a lower heart rate at rest implies efficient heart function.
If your resting heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute and you are not a trained athlete, you have a low heart rate. This is a condition known as bradycardia. If the heart rate is above 100 beats per minute at rest, the condition is known as tachycardia. Both bradycardia and tachycardia are defined as heart arrhythmias. After measuring your heart rate a few times and you discover either of these conditions, contact your doctor for further instructions. As mentioned earlier, it may not be anything to worry about in and of itself but you should probably get it checked out to be sure.
Taking a little responsibility and monitoring your own health is a helpful exercise in the quest to be fit!
The first step in doing that is measuring your heart rate. You can do that with the Online Stopwatch from OnlineClock.net. It’s really easy to do once you get a handle on how to measure your pulse. There are two ways to measure your pulse. One is known as the radial pulse (the wrist). The other is the carotid pulse (the neck). It takes a little time to locate the exact area in which your pulse can be found. Once you know where it is, you can quickly locate it again after starting the stopwatch. Use the step-by-step guideline below to take your pulse with our Online Stopwatch.
How to Measure Your Heart Rate
- Turn your wrist palm side up. Place the index, second and third fingers from your other hand on your wrist below the base of the thumb.
- Press down lightly until you feel your pulse beneath your fingers. It may take a few minutes to locate the exact spot. When you find it, remember the spot. Do this a couple of times so that you can easily locate your pulse after the stopwatch is started.
- Go to stopwatch.onlineclock.net. Start the stopwatch. Time the number of beats felt in your pulse for an interval of 10 seconds. Multiply this number by 6 to get your pulse.
- Place the tips of your index and second fingers on the base of your neck on either side of the windpipe.
- Now follow steps 2 and 3 above.
Your Maximum Heart Rate
The next thing you should measure is your maximum heart rate. This is necessary so that you know the maximum rate that your heart should be beating if you want to stay fit or lose weight with exercise. The basic formula is 220 minus your age. However, if you would like someone else to quickly do the math, the Mayo Clinic offers a maximum heart rate calculator for you to find that number. Just enter your age and the calculator will compute your maximum heart rate number.
Once you have the maximum heart rate number, you can create the ideal zone for exercise. Use between 60 and 85 per cent of your maximum heart rate as your target zone for the best results from your exercise routine. Anything higher than that will not add any benefit and put undue stress on your heart. If you have any illnesses, you should get your doctor’s permission before you begin an exercise routine. If it has been a while since you have exercised, you will want to gradually build up to the 60-85% zone. If it feels like the exercise is too hard, slow down to reduce your risk of injury.
NOTE: Getting fit is a gradual lifestyle change and should be undertaken with care. The idea here is to work-out, not wear-out!
Using the Maximum Heart Rate for a More Precise Workout
Now that the maximum heart rate is established, the next step is to use that number while you are exercising. During your exercise routine, stop and check your 10 second pulse and multiply it by 6. If your pulse is below your target zone, increase your exercise level. If it is above the target zone, decrease your exercise level. If you get this rate just right and can continue your exercise routine for 30-45 minutes, you will start to see real changes in your overall fitness level. If you keep it up, you can increase your endurance and be able to extend your exercise further for an even higher fitness level.
Set short term goals first. If ten minutes is all you can do, then gradually increase this each day until you reach the 30-45 minute routine. Each day it will get easier to do, just don’t give up.
As you can see, measuring your heart rate is a big help in monitoring your health and getting the right exercise routine that is going to actually work for you.
Keep this up and visit the stopwatch.onlineclock.net for a heart rate check from time to time.
It’s a great idea and you don’t even have get up to go find where you laid down your wrist watch in order to do it!
Save all of the extra moves for your new, heart-friendly exercise routine!