Heart Rate & Exercise

A normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute for adults. For a well-trained athlete, a normal resting heart rate may be closer to 40 beats a minute. For healthy adults, a lower resting heart rate generally implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness.With your palm facing upward, place two fingers on the thumb side of your wrist — or place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 20 seconds. Multiply this number by 3 to determine how many times your heart beats in one minute.

Exercise Target Heart Rate

You maximize the benefits of cardiovascular activity when you exercise in the zone of your target heart rate (THR). In general terms, your THR is 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. The Karvonen Method of calculating THR is one of the most effective methods to determine target heart rate because it takes into account resting heart rate. Here's how to find your THR.

Your Target Heart Rate is a specific age-based pulse rate to be maintained during aerobic exercise to ensure optimal cardiovascular function. It implies an exercise intensity that maintains the heart rate at 60% to 85% of the maximum

Recovery Time

The amount of time the heart takes to return to a normal at-rest rate after exercise is called recovery time. This is one measure of the body's general fitness. In general, the shorter the recovery time, the higher the level of fitness. Determine recovery rate by first measuring and recording the pulse rate at rest. Next, run in place for two minutes. Now measure the pulse rate repeatedly until the at-rest rate is reached. How long did it take the heart to return to the normal rate?

Discuss results of class activity

(Collaborative Drawing)


  • HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.