Monitoring your heart rate is very simple, practical and safe way to understand your exertion during aerobics. You will improve your cardiorespiratory system if you train at 70%-85% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate (the fastest your heart will beat) can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220.
*There is a +/- factor of ten beats with this estimation.
Here is how a 30 year old individual would estimate her target zone:
In order to determine YOUR target zone, find your pulse on your wrist (on the inner edge of the wrist below the base of the thumb) or neck (below the ear along the jaw.
Count for 10 seconds and then multiply by six to find the beats per minute. Pulse monitoring at the wrist is recommended because you can inadvertently press too hard on the neck, causing a slowing of the heart rate (with some people).
Monitor your heart rate before, after three to five minutes of aerobic exercise, and upon completion of an aerobic section.
Try the perceived exertion “TALK TEST” for intensity monitoring too. If you can barely talk while performing aerobics you are probably in your target zone. Compare your results to your counted heart rate.
This is a great way to listen to your body and what it has to tell you.