Heart Rate during Exercise

Why measure heart rate during exercise?

The heart rate during exercise is an indicator of intensity, or in other words how hard you are working. As you get fitter, your heart rate should decrease for any given exercise workload. This is the basis of many of the submaximal aerobic fitness tests.

During exercise, your heart rate will depend on the intensity of exercise, your fitness level, and your maximum heart rate (which may also depend on your age). Some training programs set the intensity of exercise using heart rate guides. Use this table to help determine your training heart rate level based on percent intensity and age.

Measuring heart rate during exercise

It is possible to use the manual palpation method for heart rate measurement during exercise (e.g. at the wrist), though better results can be obtained using a heart rate monitor or similar device. Due to the constant movement of the athlete during exercise, it is important that you ensure there is a good connection between the heart rate monitor and the skin. In some cases you may want to stop exercising for the time you are taking the heart rate measurement. Better results are usually found during cycling exercise due to the less body movement. More about Heart Rate Measurement.

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