Start to Workout Heart Smart

Start to Workout Heart Smart
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By Hannah Richardson AWC Fitness Services Representative, Graphics by Moru Wang

Checking your heart rate can be one of the easiest, yet one of the most forgotten things done during a workout. Working within a healthy heart rate range (target heart rate zone) offers great benefits, such as allowing the body to optimally work, therefore providing great results without putting too much stress on the heart. Here are some easy to follow steps on how to check your heart rate:

1. There are two sites that both can be easily palpated to check heart rate: the carotid and the radial. The image on the left shows the the location of the radial site (on the thumb side of the wrist), while the image on the right shows location of the carotid site (on side of the neck, below the chin).

2. The thumb has its own pulse, therefore the pointer finger and the middle finger will be used to find the heart rate.

3. Once the heart rate is found at the site, count the number of beats for a full 10seconds then multiply the resulting number by 6.

Check the Chart

On the right is a heart rate chart used to provide a healthy target heart rate zone between 60%-75%.
These heart rate zones are split into age categories, therefore making it easier to pin point where you are and where you probably should be. The target heart rate zones are there to provide you with a guide on how intense your workout should be. Working out at a heart rate less than 60% of your maximum heart rate will provide fewer benefits than working at or above it, while depending on your particular health status and fitness goals, working out at a heart rate way above 75% of your heart rate maximum may place too much of a strain on your heart.

To gain a heart rate range specific to your particular age and resting heart rate, please contact one of the AWC personal trainers.

Need fitness advice? Ask expert Joshua Delgado and find out what he has to say in the next issue of the Courier! Email Joshua at

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