Pulse rate increases while you exercise and a very high pulse rate can be harmful for the heart. This article explains what should be the ideal pulse rate for men and women during exercise. Read ahead…
You must have noticed that your pulse rate increases during physical activities and exercises. It is not constant throughout the day. Normal resting pulse rate may vary from person to person according to the person’s age, sex and overall health. Normal pulse rate for men and women lies between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). Infants, kids, pregnant women have slightly higher pulse rate.
The function of the heart is to pump blood. A healthy heart beats slowly as it performs its function easily. Athletes and sportsmen have toned (healthy and strong) heart and lungs and therefore they exhibit an amazingly slow pulse rate: 40-60 bpm. Women exhibit slightly higher resting pulse rate than men. An unhealthy heart has to put extra efforts to pump the required quantity of blood and therefore it will beat faster than a healthy heart.
High Pulse Rate During Workouts
Increased pulse rate while exercising indicates that the heart has to beat faster and harder as the demand for blood and oxygen by the body increases during exercise. The capacity of the heart has to be taken into consideration. If you force the heart to work beyond its capacity, it might get damaged. When the heart starts racing, you are not able to speak or you feel breathless. So working with excessive pulse rate can lead to fibrillation of the heart. It can result in partial heart block. To avoid this, you have to ascertain the healthy pulse rate with which you can exercise without damaging the heart. Exercising with very low intensity would not enable you to reap the health benefits of exercise. You have to work with certain intensity. For this, you first need to calculate your maximum pulse rate while doing exercise. Here is the easiest age adjusted formula:
- Maximum pulse rate for women (during exercise) = 226 – age
- Maximum pulse rate for men (during exercise) = 220 – age
If you want, you can calculate your maximum possible pulse rate by performing a stress test on a treadmill (in the presence of the physical trainer or physician) and can directly measure your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) or pulse rate.
You can exercise with 50-85% of your MHR. If you are a beginner, then you may start exercising with 50% of your MHR. You are supposed to increase the intensity of the exercise gradually over months. Athletes can exercise with 85% of their MHR or even more as a part of intensive training. But normal people should not try this. Here are the charts for men and women which describe target pulse rate during workouts.
Target Pulse Rate During Workouts
Those who are diagnosed with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, need to consult their physicians and physical trainers to know the safe target pulse rate They should not rely upon the above charts. Moreover, it should be noted that anxiety, diseases, consumption of medications can change the normal, maximum and safe pulse rate during workouts. So it is always better to consult your physician regarding safe heart rate during exercise, before opting for a workout plan.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.