Cardiovascular exercise relies on frequency, intensity and duration for effectiveness. How do you know you are exercising at the correct intensity? Your heart rate is the best way to judge intensity. Take your heart rate five minutes after the start of your exercise session and take it again before you go into your cool down.
How to Measure Your Heart Rate via Your PulseYou can find your pulse at your neck (carotid artery) or wrist (radial artery). Use a finger rather than your thumb to find the artery and the pulse.
You will need a watch that displays seconds. You can take your pulse for 6 seconds and multiply by 10 to get the beats per minute (bpm). For example, if you counted 8 beats in 6 seconds, your bpm is 8 x 10 = 80. You could also count it for a full 60 seconds, but it usually is not easy or convenient to do that while still exercising. Or you can increase the accuracy by counting for 12 seconds and multiplying by 5, but doing math while exercising may be a challenge.
How to Take Your Exercise Pulse
Measuring Your Heart Rate with a Heart MonitorHeart rate monitors typically use a chest strap to measure your heart rate. These gadgets range in price from $40 and up, and are the most accurate method. They transmit the data to a wrist unit so you can see your heart rate throughout your workout. Models include many other features with increasing price, such as tracking your heart rate zones, stopwatch features, calories burned and more. Other kinds of heart rate monitors include handgrip pulse monitors on treadmills, and pulse monitors where you place one or two fingers on a sensor for a reading.
Before You Buy a Heart Rate Monitor