Sport can really get your cardiovascular system going. Puffing and sweating included. In order to prevent your heart from being overstrained and your body from getting the most out of your training, it is important to train in the right stress zone, i.e. in the right range of your heart rate. We explain to you how’s works.
What is the heart rate?
The heart rate indicates how many times your heart beats per minute. In a healthy adult person, the heart rate at rest is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. This means that the heart pumps blood steadily and evenly into the circulation. In small children, the value is much higher, at well over 100 beats per minute, but it adjusts with increasing age. The heart rate can be measured on the wrist as well as on the neck.
The heart rate is not the same as your pulse, by the way. Although it is one aspect of it, a professionally measured heart rate can provide information on other aspects such as the regularity of your heartbeats, absolute pressure, filling volume and how fast your blood pressure is rising.
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At what level is the heart rate dangerous?
The heart rate becomes dangerous when it becomes too low or too high. Of course, this varies somewhat from person to person, but doctors speak of a too low value when the heart rate in healthy adults is below a level of 50 beats per minute. The body is then not sufficiently supplied with blood and oxygen and the heart is not strong enough.
There are also limits at the top: The healthy heart of an adult should not reach more than 180 beats per minute, even during sporting activity. Anyone who exceeds this limit puts too much strain on their heart and ensures constant overloading. This is not only bad for the heart, but also for training success. In this state, the body cannot improve its performance and you will harm your health rather than improve your physical condition.
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Which heart rate corresponds to which power range?
Gerrit Keferstein, sports physician from Hennef, works with athletes to improve their performance in and outside of training. He explains: “When you move, your body needs more oxygen to remain functional. This means that the heart has to pump more often to maintain its supply. Heart rate is a response to the body’s oxygen demand, so it also gives information about how much oxygen the muscles need at any given moment”. This information can be used for training planning.
Depending on your training goal, your heart rate should be in a different range. If you mainly want to burn fat and stay fit, a training of 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate is sufficient. In this range, your body uses fat as an energy source and the cardiovascular system is trained. The following table shows in which performance range you should train to achieve your desired result:
What is the ideal heart rate for sports?
“When running or jogging, a heart rate between 110 and 140 beats per minute is perfect. After all, this frequency is ideal for making the heart stronger and is therefore particularly beneficial to heart health,” says sports physician Keferstein.
What are the best heart rate monitoring devices?
In order to measure and observe the heart rate during sport, you need technical aids. A heart rate monitor is the ideal training companion for this purpose. There are many different models from different manufacturers. Which method works best for you, you should try out for yourself.
A heart rate monitor is the ideal training companion for anyone who wants to keep an eye on their heart rate. © tyler nix / unsplash
How do I measure my heart rate with a chest strap?
Some athletes* measure their pulse and thus also their heart rate via a chest strap. This is put on before the training and measures the impulses coming from the heart via electrodes. The information is recorded and stored in the belt and can even be transferred to other compatible devices. In this way the heart rate can be read on your pulse watch, for example, even during activity. The belt must be placed very close to the skin so that the readings are accurate.
To improve the performance of the belt, it helps to moisten it with a little water before putting it on. Women wear the belt under the chest. Pulse belt order at amazon.de
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How do I measure my heart rate with a sports watch?
If you feel constricted by a chest strap, it is best to use a Smart Watch or Fitness Watch to monitor your pulse and heart rate. These smart sports watches have special LED -lamps that shine a few millimetres under the skin. The light is reflected by the blood, enabling the watch to measure the blood volume and determine the pulse. order sports watch at amazon.de
What’s the resting heart rate?
The resting pulse is the number of heartbeats at rest. The ideal time to measure your resting pulse is in the morning after getting up, because then your body is recovered and rested. You measure your resting pulse by turning your wrist upwards and placing your index and middle finger on the artery running upwards towards your thumb. Now count the heartbeats within 15 seconds. Multiply this number by a factor of 4 to get the number of heartbeats per minute.
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Why is the resting pulse important?
The resting pulse rate is extremely important in optimizing the training. The faster you return to your resting heart rate after strenuous physical exercise, the better your body is in shape. The more often you train, the faster you should be able to return to your resting heart rate and breathe relaxed again. “A low resting pulse rate is proof of a good, healthy athlete,” says Keferstein.
The more often you exercise, the faster your heartbeat returns to your resting pulse after a physical exertion. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
How can I lower my resting pulse rate?
It’s very simple: by training at a heart rate between 110 and 140 beats per minute. “Because this type of endurance is good for your health, promotes the ability to regenerate and optimizes the supply of oxygen throughout the body, it is called &apos ‘basic endurance’. On this basis you can then also do high intensity training such as HIIT or CrossFit,” explains the expert.
For many professional athletes*, effective training is no longer conceivable without determining the training pulse. This is because the heart rate not only tells you something about your performance during the workout, but also gives you the opportunity to optimize your workout and thus maximize your results.
The training pulse, like heart rate, is expressed in beats per minute and refers to the number of beats your heart should deliver during your athletic performance. This ensures that the heart is not overtaxed or even endangered, but at the same time ensures that you actually reach your performance limit during training. This is the only way to increase your performance in a healthy way over time.
Of course, not only heart rate plays a role in optimizing your training, but also your age, weight and performance should be taken into account.
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How do I determine the maximum heart rate?
There is a rule of thumb: 220 minus the age of the athlete. But: “This rule is not applicable to everyone, because there are massive fluctuations. The only way to find out your real individual maximum heart rate is to run for four minutes – until nothing else works,” says Keferstein. The highest frequency achieved in the four minutes is the maximum heart rate.
But: You don’t need your maximum heart rate to get started. Just get started and slowly increase your heart rate. “With each training unit you should increase your heart rate by a maximum of 10 percent and stay at a frequency of 110 to 140 for the time being. Only when you have reached 4 units per week of at least 45 minutes each, it makes sense to think about more individual heart rates and training control.
With the right training pulse you can train even more effectively. If you keep an eye on your heart rate during exercise, it can be used as an indicator of your body’s performance and you can adjust the training intensity accordingly. In this way you train healthier and more effectively overall.