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Don’t let your heart rate shoot dangerously high during workouts! How to calculate the safe heart rate range for you – Times of India

36-year-old Kartik Shastri works out regularly. He wears his Apple watch to the gym everyday to record his workouts and monitor his heart rate. He caught COVID in May and now even walking on the treadmill makes his heart rate shoot up to 140-150. When he consulted a cardiologist, he was advised to undergo certain tests.

We all have recently seen how strenuous exercise can pose risk to your heart health. In fact unmonitored heart rate that’s shooting dangerously high during workouts can prove quite dangerous.

So how do you know what’s your safe heart rate range? The formula for calculating the maximum heart rate is a standard in cardiology as well as fitness programs.

Dr. Sanjay Mittal, Director Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta explains, “The standard formula for calculating how fast a human heart can beat is done by subtracting the person’s age from 220. The number that comes is the maximum heart rate. For example, if you are 50, you have to subtract 50 from 220, which is 170. This tells you that 170 is the 100 per cent capacity of your heart rate. And when you are working out, it should reach about 70 per cent of its total capacity. This is the safe range for you.”

But is it alright to obsessively check your heart rate? “This practice is not bad but it shouldn’t turn into paranoia. There is a thin line between moderate level exercise and strenuous exercise, which we just saw depends on individual capacity. If you are reaching about 70 per cent of your heart rate, it is moderate exercise. But if you cross that threshold, you enter the strenuous exercise range.

If you are below your 70 per cent capacity, you can sustain for longer hours. Strenuous exercise should not be done for more than 10 minutes. It’s important for people to limit their bursts.

The recommended guidelines for working out is 75 minutes of strenuous exercise per week or 150 minutes of moderate level of exercise per week. In fact there is data to suggest that if you do strenuous exercise more than 300 minutes a week, depending on your personal capacity, you are burning yourself out.

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