Heart is the main organ which is responsible for the circulation of the blood throughout the body. With every heartbeat, the heart pumps oxygenated blood and other nutrients to different parts of the body. It is on the supply of this oxygenated blood that the brain and other organs function in a proper manner. In the absence of this oxygenated blood, it could lead to a slow and painful death. The heart rate is calculated by counting the number of beats in a minute. Depending upon the condition of your health and the kind of activities that you have indulged into at a certain time, the heart rate is affected. The average normal heart rate is 72 beats per minute when one is not physically exerting. It is said that your heart rate is a direct indication of the overall condition of your health. There is a certain limit within which this heartbeat rate must be restricted to, surpassing which could actually lead to a cardiac problem.
What Causes An Increase In Heart Rate And What Is The Maximum Heart Rate?
When your body is doing a certain physical activity such as walking, a workout or an exercise session, it means that your muscles, tissues and other parts of the body are in a larger requirement of oxygenated blood. In order to fulfill this requirement, your heart has to pump faster and larger portions of blood to the various parts of your body.
This increases the heartbeat to various levels.(1) The ideal heartbeat rate which it should be at its maximum level will differ from person to person. The two factors of weight and age happen to play a very important role in this context. It is said that the ideal limit of your maximum heart rate (MHR) is your age subtracted from the number 220.(2, 3, 4) So, if your age is 30, then the maximum heart rate that you can attain is 220-30 = 190. It is obvious that the maximum heart rate is something that will differ from person to person, depending on their age.
How Long Should You Stay At Your Maximum Heart Rate?
When your heart rate is at its maximum, it means that your body is functioning at its optimal capacity. This also means that your heart is pounding oxygenated blood to the various parts of the body at the optimum level. Now, this is a stage that happens to be really strenuous and also exhaustive. One can only stay at this level of maximum heart rate for short durations from 10 – 60 seconds. The longer one is at this state, the quickly they lose the access to fine and complex motor activities. Instead, the focus must be on how one can quickly recover from this state.
If you want to reap maximum benefits out of your exercise session you should maintain 60-75% of your maximum heart rate initially and thereafter you can enhance the level up to 85%. You can start at this level for 30 minutes to 60 minutes initially and then as you get accustomed to it, you can increase the time steadily. Top-level athletes exercise and practice for 3-4 hours and even more at this level.(1)
Important Things to Remember About Maximum Heart Rate
One should not try to reach the maximum heart rate level all of a sudden. It is essential to practice under expert supervision initially. Sudden increase of heart rate to the maximum heart rate could lead to major health setbacks like a cardiac attack or even a cerebral stroke. For normal people who are not trained in this respect, maintaining the maximum heart rate for more than ten to twenty seconds happens to be next to impossible. Even making an attempt to increase this span could be seriously damaging for health and hence must never be attempted.
For all those who are trying to shed some weight and trim their body, working out at higher heart rate workout sessions means that more oxygenated blood is being pumped to the various parts of the body and the body is also making great usage of it. Maximum energy levels are being used which also means that a huge amount of fat is being burnt in the process. However, trying to keep it that way for a little more than desired could be very risky for a person. It must be kept in mind not to exert to an extent of reaching the maximum heart rate without having an expert supervision. After staying at your highest heartbeat rate do take a good amount of rest for a while and if you feel any discomfort, visit a doctor at the earliest.
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