Web Exclusive…When working out a person should consider checking their heart rate and determine which target heart rate zone they should be in. Typically, your target heart-rate zone is between 50 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart should beat in a minute without dangerously overexerting yourself. Your heart rate can tell you so much about your body — how fit you are, how much you’ve improved, and whether you’ve recovered from yesterday’s workout. Your target zone can tell you what heart rate to aim for during a workout.
A common method for determining your target heart rate is to start with 220 (for men) and 226 (for women), minus your age and that should be approximately your maximum heart rate. You should never go beyond, or to, your maximum range. For moderate intensity, stay between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. For vigorous intensity, stay between 70-85% of your maximum heart rate.
Using that easy formula to find your max, find your target heart-rate zone by calculating 50 percent and 85 percent of your maximum.
Here’s the math for a 40-year-old man:
220 – 40 = 180
This is his estimated maximum heart rate.
180 x 0.50 = 90
This is the low end of his target zone. If his heart beats less than 90 times per minute, he knows that he’s not pushing hard enough.
180 x 0.85 = 153
This is the high end of his target zone. If his heart beats faster than 153 beats per minute, he needs to slow down.
To find out whether or not you’re staying within your target zone, simply check your pulse on your wrist, neck or chest. Remember, do not use the thumb because it has its own heart beat. Once you find your beat, take a full 60 second count of the heart beats, or count the beats to 30 seconds and multiply by 2. Like to know more? Zone Heart Rate, read more from Active.com. (link)http://www.active.com/fitness/Articles/Calculate_your_training_heart_rate_zones)