Harvard Heart Letter

How to choose and use a heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitors help people exercise at the right intensity, allowing them to safely reach their fitness goals. During an exercise session, healthy people should try to spend 20 minutes in their target range. Target heart rates range from 65% to 80% of the person’s maximum heart rate (220 minus age in years). Handgrip heart rate monitors found on fitness equipment may not be accurate; monitors with straps that circle the chest are a better choice. More advanced models offer programming options and additional data, but they aren’t needed to get a healthy workout. 
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