Use one of the formulas given earlier to calculate your THR. Better yet, calculate it more than one way, and see which range gives you the workout you need. Then try it out – you may need to make some adjustments for yourself, if the range seems too easy or too hard, or just tires you out. Tailor your heart rate to your exercise goals, whether it’s improved fitness, weight loss, or maintaining your current state. Think about using interval training (more on this later) to avoid workout boredom and overtraining.
Figure out what works best for you for monitoring your heart rate – whether you count it yourself, or use a monitor. Keep a log, at least at first, of your workout and the heart rate levels you achieve, to help you see if you’re reaching your goals.
If you do different types of workouts, you will probably see that your heart rate varies depending on your activity. For instance you’ll achieve different levels of intensity from walking, jogging, biking and swimming. Further, walking on a treadmill or biking on a stationary bike/trainer may turn out to be less intense for you than running or biking outside, where there are more variables, and less boredom. If you’re running or biking with a group or in a competition, you’ll likely see further variation in your intensity. You’ll probably need to adjust your THR goals to meet these variations.
Good luck with your workout and post your comments on what is working for you. Remember, turns out THR IS important!