woman walking on a treadmill
Before you exercise...
CALCULATE YOUR NUMBERS: First, figure out your maximum predicted heart rate, or the highest it can safely go, with a simple formula. Start with 220 and subtract your age. Then, multiply the result by both 0.6 and 0.7 to get your target heart rate zone. So, if you're 45, your target heart rate is between 105 and 123 beats per minute. (220-45 = 175 x 0.6 = 105; 175 x 0.7 = 123.)
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CHECK YOUR HEART RATE: Find your pulse by placing two fingers on your wrist at the base of your thumb. Count the number of beats in 30 seconds and then multiply that number by 2. This will give your heart rate in beats per minute. If your heart rate is below the target range, push yourself a bit harder (walk faster or do some jumping jacks). If your heart rate is above the target range, take the intensity down a notch.
A good rule of thumb
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