When getting your body into shape, nothing may be more important than the health of your heart. It's normal for your heart rate to be high while exercising, but once you stop working out, it should slow, or recover, quickly. The faster your heart rate drops after exercising, the healthier you are and a quick recovery rate is a sign of good cardiovascular health. Knowing how to measure your recovery rate is an excellent tool to judge your cardiovascular fitness.
Measure your resting heart rate. After sitting in a relaxed place for at least 15 minutes, place the index and middle fingers of one hand on your opposite arm, an inch or so from the wrist where the tendons are. You should feel your heart beat. Run a stopwatch for one minute while you count the number of times your heart beats. This is your resting heart rate.
Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Figure your target heart rate range by multiplying this number by 0.85 to calculate the high end of the range and by 0.5 for the low end.
Measure your heart rate while exercising. Once you work up a sweat, measure your heart rate for 6 seconds. Multiply this number by 10 to get your beats per minute. Keep measuring every few minutes until your heart rate falls within your maximum heart rate range.
Rest for one minute, then take your heart rate.
Calculate your recovery rate by subtracting your heart rate one minute after exercising from your exercising heart rate. The Cardiology Rounds website notes that a drop of 13 beats per minute is normal. Anything less than this is abnormal and may indicate your heart health is sub-par.
Items you will need
- ✓ Stopwatch
- Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, particularly if you are concerned about your heart health.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.