I'm finding more and more, that people who exercise regularly don't know what their target heart rate is. When they are exercising they have no clue if their heart rate is on target.
To be in your zone, you should be anywhere between 65-85% of your max heart rate (MHR). When doing cardio, your target should be at 85% of your MHR. How do you figure this out?
To determine your target heart rate, you need to first know your MHR. You do this by subtracting your age from 220. For example, I'm 40 years old so I take 220 - 40 = 180. So my MHR is 180. To reach 85% of my MHR during cardio I take 85% of 180 which is 153. This is my target heart rate to hit during cardio. This number is how many times my heart will beat during one minutes time during my workout.
The best way to keep up with your heart rate is with a heart rate monitor, which is what I use. A heart rate monitor just makes it easier to keep up with. If you don't have one you can still figure this out very easy. Find your pulse, either on your neck or wrist and count the number of times your heart beats in 10 seconds and then multiply by 6.
Everyone is different, so it may take time to work up to getting your heart rate to 85% of your MHR. You may even reach 100% sometimes too and that is ok as well. You just won't be able to keep it there for a long period of time. Having a target of 85% is good to work towards during cardio training.
You will find that your heart rate will rise during strength training as well. This is ok too. Keeping your heart rate in the zone of 65-85% of MHR during strength training and then closer to 85% with bursts of cardio will increase your metabolism and allow for a good calorie burn as well.
If you are on any medication or have a heart condition, talk to your doctor first. Your target heart rate may be different.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20