Measuring Your Heart Rate

Put your index and second finger on the carotid artery. It is at the front and side of the neck  next to the throat.

Take your pulse for 6 seconds- then add a zero to get the beats per minute.

This method isn't perfectly accurate, but it will be close enough to give you a good indication of what your heart rate is.

During exercise this will be easy because your heart will really be thumping.

To establish  your resting heart rate count for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4. This will give a more accurate reading.

Now let's figure out your target heart rate.

Use the following formula.


We start with the number 220 and then subtract our age.       Example for a person who is 40




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* the intensity is the tricky part. If you are over 45, or overweight 10 pounds, or have a sedentary lifestyle- use 60% (.60). If you are all of the above, use 50%. Most people can use the 60% threshold safely. If you are in good health and are semi-active, or a weekend warrior (you know who you are) then use 70%. Most folks are in this category. For example, a 55 year old who works out 3 or 4 times a week would probably be in this category. If you are interested in competitive racing, use 80-85%.


Base Number     

  Subtract your age

maximum heart rate

subtract  resting heart

  heart rate reserve                    
Times  intensity factor *

Then add to this

your  resting heart rate                
Resulting in  target heart rate of ........                    



- 40




X  .70


+ 70