How to measure heart rate

How to measure heart rate


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Know your heart rate helps you get to know your body better during exercise and determine limits.

  • Calculating Maximum Heart Rate

  • Tanaka formula for measuring heart rate

  • Recommended heart rates

  • Ways to measure heart rate

    • Measure the heart rate at the wrist

    • Measure the heart rate in the neck

    • Measure your heart rate when you find your pulse

Calculating Maximum Heart Rate

To calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (FCM), subtract your age from 220. For example: someone 35 years old should subtract that age from 220, which will result in 185. So her FCM is 185 beats per minute (bpm).

Tanaka formula for measuring heart rate

Tanaka’s formula follows the following scheme: 208 – 0.7 x age. The result obtained indicates the range that the person must maintain. In this case, a 35-year-old patient (208 – 24.5) would have a maximum heart rate of around 183 bpm.

Recommended heart rates

Each activity requires a specific heart rate. A walk, for example, requires an average of 55% of FCM, that is, about 102 bpm in patients aged 35. A trot asks for 65%, while a light run requires an average of 75%. Finally, in intense running, the heart rate goes to about 95% of the FCM.

Ways to measure heart rate

The ideal is to measure your heart rate with a frequency meter, but there are other methods for collecting this information.

Measure the heart rate at the wrist

Place your index and middle fingers straight over the inside of the wrist, just below the base of the thumb. After, press firmly on the spot with your fingers straight until you feel the pulse.

Measure the heart rate in the neck

To obtain this data from the neck, place your index and middle fingers on the soft and hollow parts the side of the neck. Firmly press the area until you feel the pulse.

Measure your heart rate when you find your pulse

Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. The result will be the number of beats per minute. Thus, if the count reaches 16, it is a sign that the person’s frequency at that moment is 64 beats per minute.

Photo: © S_L – Shutterstock.com

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