3 Easy Steps To Calculate Heart Rate & Heart Rate Zones
Monitoring your heart rate gives you important information about whether or not you’re exerting the right amount of effort during your workout. If your workout doesn’t seem to be “working,” it could be because you’re straining your body, or not pushing yourself hard enough. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the easiest way to calculate heart rate and determine your target heart rate zones.
How To Calculate Heart Rate
Step 1. Calculate Your Resting Heart Rate
There are two methods of determining your resting heart rate, and you can choose whichever you prefer. Keep in mind that the more you get in shape, the lower your resting heart rate should be, and that a higher resting heart rate could be a sign of overtraining.
The first option is to check your heart rate after waking up naturally, not by an alarm, in the morning. While still lying down, rest for 5 minutes and then check your pulse using the tips of two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist. Count out ever beat in 60 seconds for a rough estimate of your resting heart rate.
The second method requires a heart rate monitor like the Mio SLICE. Your SLICE will take your resting heart rate the first time you wear it during sleep, and it will show in the PAI 2.0 App (available for free on Google Play and Apple App stores).
Step 2. Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate
The most accurate way to determine your maximum heart rate is actually to complete a stress test performed by a physician, but to make things easier for you the following methods work as well. There are again two options for you to choose from.
This option involves doing some simple math. The formula to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) for both males and females is MHR = 211− (0.64 x your age).
Mio SLICE will determine your maximum heart rate on the PAI 2.0 app, and will update your MHR as your fitness level changes. With its continuous built in heart rate monitor, SLICE will also show you your MHR in real time during exercise (that is, if you work hard enough to reach it).
Step 3. Determine Heart Rate Zones
Now that you have your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate, you can determine your personal heart rate zones to enhance your workouts. Exercising in your target heart rate zones will ensure that you’re reaching the right level of intensity in your workout, and that you’re not overdoing it.
Below are three heart rate zones with increasing intensity. The equation for finding them is called the “Karvonen formula” and it’s slightly more complex than the last formula we provided. Here’s how it works:
- Low Limit = (Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x 0.6 + Resting Heart Rate
- High Limit = (Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x 0.7 + Resting Heart Rate
- Low Limit = (Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x 0.7 + Resting Heart Rate
- High Limit = (Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x 0.8 + Resting Heart Rate
- Low Limit = (Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x 0.8 + Resting Heart Rate
For each zone you should end up with a range of the lowest beats per minute to the highest beats per minute, such as 131-143 BPM for Zone 1. If you’re just starting to workout, you should aim to stay in your Zone 1. The more you workout, gradually over time you will be able to exercise comfortably in Zones 2 and 3.
You can easily monitor your heart rate during a workout with Mio SLICE, while also earning PAI points which are scientifically proven to lower the risk of lifestyle-related disease. If you notice that your heart rate is too high, you’re straining your body and should slow down. If it’s too low on the other hand, you should begin to push yourself to exercise a little harder.
By now you should have a strong understanding of how to calculate your heart rate and set your target heart rate zones. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or train for a competition, it’s extremely important to understand your heart rate and heart rate zones in order to workout in the most efficient way, and achieve your fitness goals as fast as possible.
Categories: Heart Rate Training, Other, Resting Heart Rate