There used to be a time when you would see people with their finger on their pulse after a workout to see if they hit their target heart rate. Now we have tools like Fitbit that do the work for us. The question is, does measuring your target heart rate even matter? If it does matter why does it matter and is it for everyone? These are the types of questions that we are going to answer.
Target Heart Rate – The Two Sides
The first side of the target heart rate is the resting heart rate. The second side of it is where your heart rate is when you are working out. It is essential that you know these distinctions because it is not always good to have a high heart rate. Some people become so obsessed with the heart rate numbers that they forget the two sides of the coin.
The resting heart rate helps you to know how well you are recovering and it can be an indicator of stress levels. The problem is that you have to get these numbers over an extended period to learn from the data. Too many people start taking their heart rate and jumping to conclusions too quickly.
Target Heart Rate – Why Does It Even Matter?
Here is what the American Heart Society Says About Target Heart Rate.
“The target heart rate is your ideal heart rate, or pulse, during physical activity. Your target heart rate is within 50 to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate, which is the highest heart rate you should have during exercise. Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. You can monitor your heart rate periodically during exercise by checking your pulse are the wrists, the inside of your elbow, the side of your neck and the top of the foot. To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.”
Knowing your heart rate can matter when you need to know if you are pushing yourself too hard. It can also help you to catch overtraining. Tools like HRV do a great job of this. HRV is a bit different than Heart Rate Variability, but it is more useful for athletes.
Hitting a target heart rate can be helpful when you are coming off of medical conditions or surgeries. If a doctor instructs you to do so, then it is best that you follow those instructions.
Who Should Monitor Their Target Heart Rate Closely?
It is essential for people to monitor their target heart rate in a few different scenarios.
- Doctors Orders
- Fear of Overtraining
- Fear of Understanding
- Dealing With Stress
The first is a no-brainer and was stated earlier. If you are told by a doctor to monitor your heart rate, then you should. Usually, this is done when you have just had surgery. If you are told to do this, and you do not understand why, take some ownership and ask your doctor questions until you understand.
When it comes to having a fear of overtraining or undertraining, tracking your heart rate could be a good thing. If you are pushing yourself to 80% of your max heart rate on a regular basis, you know that you are pushing your body quite hard. If you are barely getting to 50% of your max, then you know you have room to push a bit harder.
Last but not least is using the target heart rate to deal with stress. When you have a resting heart rate that is increasing it is usually not a good sign. Your resting heart rate is your heart rate when you are doing nothing, so it should be low. It will be higher when your body is trying to recover or stressed out. Working with a doctor to figure out a target heart rate while resting is always a good idea.
Who Should Not Worry About Their Target Heart Rate?
Athletes and people who are active and healthy should not worry too much about their target heart rate. The reason is that it takes away the fun from what you are doing. If you finish a workout, it feels good to be tired sometimes and not have to obsess over what your heart rate is.
We live in a data-obsessed society right now, but the problem is that the data only helps you if you know how to process the data. Otherwise, it is just a bunch of useless information.
If you workout and you feel good, and you are enjoying what you are doing, there is no need to obsess over whether you are pushing yourself hard enough or not. Just keep listening to your body, stay hydrated and get as much sleep as you can. If you are able to do these things you should be in good shape.
Eating Better and Avoiding Injury
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Registered Dietitian that specializes in Sports Nutrition. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills. Improving your target heart rate when resting may come down to eating better and reducing stress.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or tired from training too hard.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries and your target heart rate from different perspectives.
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more