If you are like most men, you probably have an exercise goal to lose weight, increase stamina or improve your cardiovascular health. Knowing your average heart rate while exercising can help you identify your target heart rate range -- exercising below your target range slows your progress; going above it leads to overtraining and could be harmful. Consult with your medical practitioner before starting a new exercise regimen.
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Average Heart Rate Range
Your heart rate is the number of times the heart beats per minute. Heart rate increases as the work rate and oxygen uptake intensify during exercise. The extent of the increase is linked to your age, fitness level, medications and other factors. The American Heart Association notes that the target heart rate range for adult men is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum rate.
Calculate Your Target
First figure your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. If you are 40, for example, 220 minus 40 is 180, so 180 beats per minute is your maximum heart rate. To calculate your target range, take your maximum heart rate number and multiply it by .50 and .85. Using 180 as an example, 180 x.50 = 90 and 180 x .85 = 153. You now have your target range of 90 to 153.
Determine Your Heart Rate
Use a heart rate monitor with a chest strap for the greatest accuracy. Another effective way to get your resting heart rate is to put your middle finger on your wrist pulse and count the throbs for 15 seconds, then multiply by four.
When beginning a training regimen, start at the low end of your target range and progress to the maximum over time. Expect to make progress in a few weeks if you exercise regularly three to five times per week for 30 to 60 minutes each session. Gradually make modest adjustments to your training by working out harder, longer or more frequently. Six months is a reasonable length of time to work up to exercising at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, but many training professionals recommend an average heart rate of 55 to 75 percent to see weight loss and cardiovascular improvements.