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www.wmfd.com - Knowing your target heart rate as you work out can help you gauge how hard you're pushing yourself, as Holly Firfer explains in today's Heatlh Minute. }}" />

   
 
 
Keeping Track Of Heart Rate Is Important When Exercising

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 10/28/2013 Knowing your target heart rate as you work out can help you gauge how hard you're pushing yourself. So why is that important? Here's Holly Firfer with today's Heatlh Minute. Exercising at the right intensity level helps you get the most out of your workout and strengthens the heart. "The heart is like any other muscle in the body- you want to work on strengthening it," says Eric Simmons, a personal trainer. "So by doing exercise, you work on making the heart more efficient pumping blood to the muscles." Monitoring your heart rate lets you know if you're working too hard or not hard enough. Measuring your progress starts by calculating your maximum heart rate, which is about the highest number of beats the heart can sustain during one minute of exercise. "Which is easily calculated as 220 minus your age," says Dr. Andew Wickliffe, a cardiologist. So, if you're 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is about 180 beats per minute. But you shouldn't often push your heart to that extreme. Instead, experts say, exercise within 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. For a 40 year-old, this means getting your heart pumping between 108 and 144 beats per minute. Using a heart rate monitor can help you keep track or you can learn to tell by how you feel. "I want to be where I'm not quite out of breath but I can't take an easy breath," says class participant Amy Wright. "I can't sing, for example." She'll have to leave the singing and celebrating for after the workout.
   
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