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What is a HIGH Active Heart Rate?

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Ok, I am a female, just shy of 26 years old, 5'3, and currently 185 lbs. When I work out on the eliptical at the gym, the type where your arms are moving as well, my heart rate is anywhere from 145-158. Is that bad? Or should I not worry about it? It sounds a bit high to me, but then again, I don't really know much at all about that topic. Any advice would be appreciated!

Oh, yeah... I have progressed from 15 minutes to 35 min., and upped my resistance, and my heart rate has stayed consistent. Just in case that has anything to do with it... :)
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hi, that isn't really high at all, i'm 19 and my target heart rate is in the 170's i think. the older you get, the target heart rates decreases, but that is normal for you. the higher the heart rate the harder you're working, which is good, just make sure not to get in the 200's. i think that is a little to much. :0) also, the heavier you breathe and sweat, the higher the heartrate, so i would think your hr would increase if you upped the resistance, but not so much with the increase in time. are you still taking the same # of strides per minute, if so, try going faster, your hr should increase. im definately an advocate of the elliptical, and i am addicted. i can go for an hour and feel great. it's a great low impact exercise, with all the same benefits as running. how do you like it? are you trying to lose weight? if so, are you noticing results in ONLY your legs with the elliptical??? i seem to only see a difference in my legs and not my stomache :( what are your results?
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I always try to keep my HR in the 155-170 range.  That way I'm not getting too spent and can maintain it for a longer period of time.
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The American Heart Association recommends 98 -166 beats per minute with a maximum of 195 beats per minute for someone your age. There are formulas which will take into account your age, height, and fitness level to calculate a more personal target heart rate. It's a good idea to know at least the general zone for your age. Besides the obvious danger of straining your heart by raising your heart rate too high, if your heart rate is below or above your target zone you won't burn calories as efficiently. If you search for target heart rate in google (or try my favorite search engine you'll find several pages with target heart rate calculators.
I've got a bit over 20 yrs on you and my highest heart rate is 156.  I've gotten it as high as 175 when doing HIIT but don't try to do that often.

Its best to use the formula that takes in consideration your resting heart rate as well as age vs the standard 220 - Age formula but I'd say what you are doing is pretty good for a workout.
I have a high resting heart rate for some reason...

Maybe because I am not very big, but dont worry, I have had my heartrate go into the 180's if I am really working hard.
sthmandies8187--- yes, i am trying to lose weight. I have lost ten lbs. so far this month, but I have heard that this is normal at the beginning of a diet regimen. I have always had terrible eating habits, but as of the beginning of March, I have decided to change that. I never worked out before, and ate whatever I felt like, usually chips, cheese doodles, cheese and crackers, ice cream, you get the picture!! :0) Now, work out 3 times a week at the gym and try to walk a couple miles every day. Also eating much less, 1500 cal. a day, and changing it to skim milk, fruit, veg., non fat yogurt, etc.... Sound ok?

Also, to answer your question, I do love the elliptical!! I usually set it at an incline of 10, and this past week boosted the resistance to 8. The local college has an awesome gym, and all the machines have little tv screens attached. That way I get a workout, plus I get out of the house away from my kids, and watch something other than Mickey Mouse!! That's nice, being a stay at home mom!
reese41681---your regime sounds like mine. I reduced my calorie intake to 1500 a day, and I am exercising almost everyday. I've only lost 5 pounds so far, but i've slacked a little along the way. I have a weird relationship with food. I'm picky about it, but my favorites are the worst for me...cake, cookies, chips...etc. I'm trying to eat more healthy by incoorporating more fruits and veggies and low fat everything. So I think what you are doing is healthy and the right way to do things as long as it's a lifestyle change. :)
sthmandies.... I SO know what you mean about the tastiest foods being bad for you! There is a reason why I started out at 195; I used to sit down with, like, 6 oreos, or a handful of chocolate chip cookies, if there was cake or pie (especially cheese cake!! ;0) ) around, watch out! Hahaha. I have decided that enough is enough, and fight the desire daily to eat, say, a bunch of cheese doodles. I usually have those around for my sons. My 2 little guys love those, and I let them have them occasionally. Not as often as before, since I'm trying to instill better habits in them, too. My over eating of the wrong foods was instilled as a child, and I don't want them to have the same problem. However, I don't restrict myself to "absolutely no junk"... I simply count out 20 cheese doodles every couple of days and figure that single serving (150 cal) into my 1500 calories.  I think my diet will last longer this way. And, it's definitely an improvement over sitting down on the couch with the whole bag! ;) I also have been putting more fruits and veggies into my diet. Keep up the good work!
According to my trainer, if you want to lose weight, you need to do high intensity cardio - this means you need to get your heart rate up and keep it up. For me (I'm 23 and in pretty good cardio shape), this means a workout staying at 165 and doing intervals in the 170s-185s. I've had my HR go above 200 and I was fine, although really winded. But definitely, always try to keep your HR above 140, even during interval training - it is kind of a fun game to play. Instead of watching distance or calories, you watch the HR. Try going fast on a low intensity for a minute or going slowly on a really high intensity, just play around and see how your heart responds - make it interesting. Also, the first 10 minutes of the workout are the hardest - it seems so hard to keep my HR up during that time, but then I just reach a point where my heart's like, ok, let's do this, and there's less huffing and puffing (or it's at least less painful!). Also, when you do interval training, you get a better workout because your heart is working harder to pump blood. You let it slow down and relax and then bam! you speed up and it has to catch up to deliver blood to those working muscles. this makes for a high calorie burning workout.
SO, I am 17, and I weigh the same as you (185), I weant to my doctor to get a prescription of diet pills, and he gave them to me, along with the advice to go to the gym 3 times a week and make sure to get to a heartrate of 170. I only can make it to the gym 3 times a week, cuz I have an EXTREMELY busy life, but in general, I workout for about an hour and 20 minutes on cardio, I LOVE cardio, lol, but my heartrate usually remains above 182 or so, but I feel fine with that, my heart rate has gone above 200, and I fealt like I was going to be sick, but I sat down, and cooled down,a nd was fine, hope I was helpful :)
Do not go by the age related formula ( your age minus 220) thats a bunch of BS. I'm 41 and fairly fit 41-220= 179 not even close. my max HR is 195+ To get an accurate result you need to take a stress test. Your local gym should be able to point you in the right direction.
Todd - yes the 220-age isn't an exact science and the "right" goals for all - I think it is a good starting point for persons just starting to work out.  I know I am 47 and doing 175 isn't going to kill me because I've been at this awhile - but for persons who are not in good shape yet need a number to aim for.  Heck when I was overweight my resting heart rate was 100  Now its down to 48. 

Not only that but alot of people can't afford to have a stress test done and if they have insurance the insurance may not cover it unless its medically indicated - so using the formula is a good place to begin.  Later use the other formula tha takes into consideration your resting heart rate.
You are correct everyone is different. sorry if i offended you.
Heart rate is a very good indicator of effort once you determine your own ranges.  Determining the correct ranges is, however, somewhat fickle. has three methods for figuring out what is correct, begining with the 220-age method and finishing up with a scientific VO2 max method.  There are several other methods, such as finding your theorhetical max, comparing it to your resting rate and then figuring out the percentages in between.  Ughh.

However, having trained with heart rate monitors for several years, you will find that eventually you will just know the 'right' range.  For weight loss, burning calories is the key and therefore radical improvements aren't really necessary.  If you want to improve race times or performance then you need to work in the higher ranges.  If you want weight loss then working in the 70%-80% range is about right (and where it sounds like you are- although your improved performance indicates you are at the high end of that scale).  If you want to push performance aim for 80%-90%.  One really good measure to ascertain if you are around 80% is to talk to your neighbor as you work out.  If you can get single sentances out but then need a break for a couple of seconds you are probably around the 80%-85% range.

PS all this is based on my own experiments, my trainers comments, and what I have read at places like, runners world and Hal Higdon's running website.  I don't claim any expertise beyond that.  Good luck.
At the gym I'm often between 140 and 170.  I've had to turn off the alarm on my HRM since I'm still figuring it out and it keeps telling me that 170ish is too high.  I don't think it really is tho.   I ran a 5K on St. Patty's Day and my HRM said my max was 195ish and my average was 170ish.  I certainly didn't die, and I still had some gas in the tank at the end of the run. 

How do I determine my heart rate zones with this VO2 method?  Is it something I can do on my own or is this some physical exam type thing? 
It's different for everyone, depending on age and level of fitness. I googled it for you and I found this matches what my trainer at the gym suggests for me: l_THR.htm

One other thing my trainer told me was to ensure that I'm working out hard enough (try to get close to the max heart rate) and not to go over the max heart rate, or your body starts to burn muscle.
OK dog gone it...

I thought I had the heart rate thing figured out with the 220 - age figure, and now I read this post.

The other thing to consider is that resting heart rates can differ at different times of the day....

So, what the.......   I thought that I have been doing a great job working out on the elliptical even doing some cross-training warming up 15 on the treadmill heart rate in the 135's to 140's and then kicking my own bahookie for 15 more minutes on this cybex thing, like running up hill, into the 160's, then 15 minutes on the lifefitness elliptical for 150's, and then Precor for 15 more in the 140's to 150's. 

My heart rate monitor Polar says that I am burning about 700 (a bit more) per work out and it considers my age, gender, weight, height, and heart rate from start to finish. 

What say ye?
This is all too difficult to figure out.

I was told by an EX-olympic cycling coach that your age minus 220 is not accurate way to determine your max HR. But then again this guy was trainning professionals. not regular folks, like you & me. So as dbackerfan said its a good starting point. but as you get more fit and it sounds like your doing great, you may want to get an accurate test done. I myself am crazy and want to know what & how my body is doing. Ive done the MAP test, RMR, watts, Vo2max and you know what they all tell me? my heart is working. Just keep up what your doing and ask questions
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