In the last few articles, we've discussed High-Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT. And we've found a difference between a leisurely walk and a fast jog, and the intensity of the training is essential to engage our longevity genes fully.
Although many forms of exercise have health benefits, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) - an activity that dramatically increases heart rate and respiratory rate - turns on the most health-promoting genes, even more so in older exercisers.
We have received several questions from you about what a significantly elevated heart rate means, how much it is, and how to measure it. That is why we are devoting today's article to this very topic.
First, for all those with health problems, who are overweight, over 40 and those who have not exercised for a long time: be sure to consult your doctor before starting an exercise programme. You should be aware that your target heart rate range may need to be professionally recalculated due to different circumstances, considering your health and general fitness.
Also, some medications can change your heart rate response to exercise, so talk to your doctor about your medications and how they may affect your exercise plans.
How do we measure the intensity of the exercise by measuring heart rate?
Our body is a genius - it has a built-in system to measure exercise intensity, and that's our heart. Your heart rate increases in proportion to the intensity of your exercise, so you can monitor your exercise intensity by calculating your target heart rate (THR) or by measuring it with heart rate monitors on intelligent devices and smartwatches.
For moderate-intensity physical activity, the THR should be between 50 and 70 per cent of our maximum heart rate, depending on the person's age. You can calculate your maximum heart rate as 220 beats per minute minus your age. As this is an estimate, use it with caution.
With regular exercise, you can gradually increase the intensity of your training. Even during warm-up and cool-down, make sure your heart rate stays in the lower range.
You can easily monitor your heart rate during exercise using a heart rate monitor and measure your pulse (see below).
Target heart rate table
Age (in years) Target range (50 - 70% of maxHR) heart beats per minute
Age 20 100 - 140
Age 25 98 - 137
Age 30 95 - 133
Age 35 93 - 130
Age 40 90 - 126
Age 45 88 - 123
Age 50 85 - 119
Age 55 83 - 116
Age 60 80 - 112
Age 65 78 - 109
A few more tips:
Take your pulse before you warm up.
Retake your pulse after about 5-10 minutes of exercise.
Continue taking your pulse at regular intervals.
The radial pulse is located on the inside of the wrist.
You can also measure the pulse by pressing lightly with your fingers on one of the carotid arteries on either side of the windpipe.
Also, look out for the following symptoms. If they occur, stop exercising and seek medical advice:
extreme shortness of breath
breathing difficulties such as wheezing or coughing
chest pain or pressure
dizziness or fainting
severe muscle pain or cramps
powerful muscle or joint pain
intense and prolonged fatigue after exercise.
We hope we have been able to provide all the answers. For more antiaging and healthy living tips, please see our past articles. We wish you a pleasant reading.