Target Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate during exercise lets you know the intensity at which you are working. To optimize your workouts, you should keep your heart rate within your age-based target heart rate range. This range is general between 50% and 75% of your maximum heart rate, or the fastest your heart can beat.
To calculate your target heart range, most use the Karvonen formula:
THR = ((HRmax − HRrest) × % intensity) + HRrest
To take your pulse, place the tips of your first two fingers lightly on the blood vessels on your neck near your Adam's apple or inside of your wrist. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. If your heart rate is below your target heart rate range, pick up the pace. If your heart rate is above your target heart rate range, slow your intensity a bit. A good rule of thumb is you should be able to complete a sentence. If you can't, slow down.
It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.