Fact Sheet: How to Take Your Heart Rate

Written on the 21 January 2015 by Studio Pilates


You should be aiming to elevate your heart rate and keep it high for an extended period of time in order to
improve your cardio pulmonary fitness and endurance. Measuring your heart rate is important to make sure
you're working hard and it tells you you're on track. We recommend that you aim to get your heart rate to
approximately 70-80% or more of your maximum heart rate and keep it there for as long as possible if you can.
To get a very rough indication of what your maximum heart rate should be, simply subtract your age from 220
beats per minute. So if you're 50, then your max heart rate will be around 170. This is of course a very rough
indicator and there are many factors that either increase or decrease your age predicted maximum heart rate but
it gives you a starting point.

To take your heart rate you can purchase a heart rate monitor from most sports stores and you simply strap it to
your chest and it reads out on the supplied watch. You can of course take it yourself. To take your heart rate you
must first of all learn where to find the pulse.
The pulse is at its strongest and easiest to feel in the neck. To find it you should feel the throat and find the
Adams apple and the wind pipe. In line with the Adams apple and just beside the wind pipe is where you will feel

You'll need to use the first two fingers to feel for your pulse and when you've found it and you feel your heart
beating you'll need to use the second hand on your watch or a clock to measure how fast it's going.
The easiest way to do this is to simply count how many beats your heart does in a period of six seconds and then
add a zero. For example if it beats 18 times in the six seconds your heart rate is 180 beats per minute....simple.
When you are doing your cardio you should aim to get it close to this maximum heart rate and train your body to
be able to keep it up there for as long as possible, challenging your fitness and strengthening your heart.



Author: Studio Pilates