What Is Your Heart Rate While Walking?

It is always a wise thing to monitor the heart rate when walking. By monitoring the heart rate, you can measure the intensity of your exercise. Walking speed, your heart rate while at rest and many other factors will determine the normal heart rate when walking.

What Is Your Heart Rate While Walking?

If you are walking on an even ground and slowly, your heart rate will not increase that much. However, if you are walking uphill, your heart rate will increase more. 

Target Heart Rate When Walking

Then what should your target heart rate be?

  • If you are just beginning with walking exercise, you should exercise in the so-called healthy heart zone which is about 50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate.
  • However, as you continue to exercise you should increase your speed or hand weight to the so-called fat-burning zone which is about 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. 
  • Aerobic exercise has to do with increasing cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate reaches about 70 to 80% of the maximum heart rate and it involves adding stairs or hills while you are walking.

A Recommended Walking Program

A walking program which consists of a warmup period, brisk walking and a cool down period, is beneficial for cardiovascular training. While warming up and cooling down, you should aim for a 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. However, during brisk walking, you should aim for 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Increase brisk walking gradually by a couple of minutes every day until you reach about 30 minutes a day.

In the following chart, you can find out the maximum heart rate according to age and intensity level.

Age

Low Intensity Physical Exercise

(50-60%)

Moderate Intensity Physical Exercise

(60-70%)

Aerobic Exercise

(70-80%)

Intense Physical Exercise

(75-85%)

Maximum Physical Exercise

(100%)

20

97 - 116 bpm

116 - 135 bpm

135 - 155 bpm

145 - 165 bpm

194 bpm

25

95 - 114 bpm

114 - 134 bpm

133 - 152 bpm

143 - 162 bpm

190 bpm

30

93 - 112 bpm

112 - 131 bpm

131 - 149 bpm

140 - 159 bpm

187 bpm

35

92 - 110 bpm

110 - 128 bpm

128 - 147 bpm

138 - 156 bpm

183 bpm

40

90 - 108 bpm

108 - 126 bpm

126 - 144 bpm

135 - 153 bpm

180 bpm

45

88 - 106 bpm

106 - 124 bpm

124 - 141 bpm

133 - 150 bpm

177 bpm

50

87 - 104 bpm

104 - 121 bpm

121 - 139 bpm

130 - 147 bpm

173 bpm

55

95 - 102 bpm

102 - 119 bpm

119 - 136 bpm

128 - 145 bpm

170 bpm

60

83 - 100 bpm

100 - 117 bpm

117 - 133 bpm

125 - 142 bpm

167 bpm

65

82 - 98 bpm

98 - 114 bpm

114 - 131 bpm

123 - 139 bpm

163 bpm

70

80 - 96 bpm

96 - 112 bpm

112 - 128 bpm

120 - 136 bpm

160 bpm

75

78 - 94 bpm

94 - 110 bpm

110 - 125 bpm

117 - 133 bpm

157 bpm

80

77 - 92 bpm

92 - 107 bpm

107 - 123 bpm

115 - 130 bpm

153 bpm

Other Factors Also Affect Your Heart Rate While Walking

Other factors that can affect your heart rate include:

  • Medications: Certain types of medications can increase your heart rate, such as thyroid medications. On the other hand, some medications like beta-blockers can slow down your pulse.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Any stressful situation, anxiety or emotional stress can increase the heart rate.
  • Temperature: High temperature will increase the heart rate as your heart will pump more blood to adjust to these atmospheric changes.
  • Body Size: In obese and extremely obese people, the heart rate will be higher.

How to Measure Your Heart Rate While Walking

The easiest way to monitor your heart rate is by checking it with a monitor. However, if you have no heart monitor, you can check it in the old fashioned way by counting your pulse.

1. Heart Rate Monitor

Before using a heart rate monitor, you should set up your goal at what heart rate you wish to work out. Once you have determined your goals, walk to reach your targets. Different monitors work in different ways. Read the manual carefully before starting to use it in order to know and understand how the heart monitor really works.

You can choose a typical chest strap heart rate monitor which has a wrist display. When using a chest strap transmitter, it needs to be in close contact to your skin. You can use water, spit or electrolyte gel to moisten the skin to provide a better contact of the transmitter to your skin. Adjust the strap so it does not interfere with your breathing. Women should place the transmitter under the breast and bra.

You can also choose to monitor your heart rate with the help of a smartphone. Buy a Bluetooth chest strap which will transmit data to your smartphone app. Some types of smart watches have a LED-based monitor integrated.

2. Wrist

You can monitor your heart rate while walking by checking the wrist pulse.

  • Use two fingers, the index and middle finger, to measure your wrist pulse.
  • Place two fingers on the outer edge of your wrist, just under the place where the hand meets the wrist.
  • Remove your watch if you have one, or use the other hand.
  • Don’t use the thumb to monitor your wrist pulse, as often you can feel a thumb pulse as well.
  • Count the number of beats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. This way you will get your heart rate per minute. 

3. Neck

  • Place the index and middle finger on the side of the neck just below the jawbone, halfway between the ear and chin.
  • Press gently and look up for a strong beat. Don’t press too hard as some believe that it will slow down the pulse.
  • Count the beat number for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4 to get your heart rate per minute. 
 
 
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