If you keep track of your heart rate, you will notice consistency depending on your training. But what if the metrics indicate that you can't keep your heart rate down when running? What does this mean?
Your body is working tirelessly every time you hit the road for a run. So it's common sense that tracking the process and recording the metrics in your training journal is essential. Among the top things you should follow is your heart rate. Professional athletes know this and have gadgets that measure the metrics for them.
Your heart rate is bound to increase with the intensity of your training. But doctors warn against overtraining because if you keep raising your heart rate, you risk damaging your heart and eventually developing health concerns.
If you are new to running, you should learn how to calculate your heart rate and keep it at a safe range. Managing the heart rate means knowing when it's too high and ways to reduce it when it gets high. Protecting your heart depends on your sex, age, and lifestyle, ensuring that you don't end up damaging your heart as you train to become fit.
Here's how you can maintain a safe heart rate.
Understanding How to Calculate Heart Rate Zones
Getting a safe heart rate is easy. The maximum should be the figure you get after taking away your age from a constant value of 220. For instance, if you are a 40-year-old runner, your maximum heart rate should be 220-40, which comes to 180.
According to the American Heart Association, a safe heart rate intensity for moderate workout intensity should border between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. It implies that the moderate heart rate for a 40-year-old person is 50% of 180, which comes to 90-126.
For vigorous workouts, the heart rate of a 40-year-old person should range between 70-85% of the maximum heart rate. And this falls between 126-153. But as you try to figure out your safe heart rate zone, know that it's influenced by your sex, age, and health. If you are taking medication that alters your heart rate consult your doctor to determine a safe workout routine.
To measure the heart rate, use an activity tracker, but you can also monitor it manually. For manual checking, place your hands on your chest, count the beats for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four. You will get your heartbeats per minute, and that's your heart rate.
High Heart Rate Indicators
There's no disputing that you benefit more from aerobic exercises. These include a healthy cardiovascular system, a better mood, and strong bones and muscles. However, the downside to overtraining, besides being susceptible to injuries, is that you stress your muscles, lungs, and heart, which can lead to dire health complications.
Monitoring your heart rate lets you know when it's time to stop running or reduce the intensity of your workout.
Having a heart rate tracker is an advantage, but you can check for other signs if you know what to look for. These include:
· Shortness of breath
· Chest pain
All these symptoms should warn you that it's time to stop. Chest pains, fainting, or heart palpitations are severe signs, and you should seek immediate emergency care from your doctor.
Also, the weather can contribute to your heart rate level. Running when it's hot raises your heart rate fast and can reach dangerous levels if you aren't careful. If the weather is hot, consider running early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures are more relaxed and favorable.
Dress appropriately by wearing breathable fabric and keep hydrating to cool your body when running. Choose the location wisely, and avoid running on exposed asphalt if you can run under a shade in the park.
How to Reduce the Heart Rate When They Elevate
If you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can take these steps to ensure you return to a safe heart rate range.
Reduce the Intensity
An elevated heart rate also means that you are out of breath. Consider stopping, slowing down, or walking so the heart can pump blood-rich oxygen to the body's muscles and organs. A safe range targets your lowest heart rate or keeps it between 50-70% of the maximum heart rate.
You can also know your safe zone by trying the speech test. If you can talk without challenges, you have lowered your heart rate.
Diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing, or deep breathing slows down the beats per minute of your heart as it reduces blood pressure. However, when the heart rate gets too high, it hinders breathing; stopping the run and looking for a cool place to sit is advisable.
Take deep breaths first through the nose and exhale slowly. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable and your heart rate slows down.
Before taking a run, make sure that your body is hydrated by avoiding stimulants. Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine leave your body dehydrated, and this will stress your heart while on the run.
Some people like drinking coffee in the morning before they run. It's allowed but also ensures that you drink at least 8-10 ounces of water before heading out for a run. Keep rehydrated by drinking water while running.
Improve Aerobic Fitness
Aerobic fitness takes time to build, and it won't come immediately. But it's a long-term strategy to reduce your heart rate. Aerobic exercise doesn't mean running solely; there are some light routines you can undertake to maintain a safe heart rate range longer.
Aerobic exercises also improve blood flow, and this will strengthen the heart. Common aerobic exercises include walking, cycling, swimming, and jogging.
Every time your heart beats beyond control is scary, especially if it's coupled with other symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and breathlessness. If you are new to running, start slow; with time, you will pick the pace.