Harvard Heart Letter

Get a heart monitor

Many people with heart disease are otherwise fit and have been cleared by their doctors for vigorous exercise. But some work out too vigorously, while others aren’t working out hard enough. Proper use of a heart monitor is the best way to get the maximum benefit from exercise. The monitor helps people stay “in the zone”—60% to 70% of peak heart rate. Although the rule of thumb is that peak heart rate is 220 minus your age, it is far more precise to have peak heart rate measured by a physician during a stress test.
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