How to Keep Your Heart Rate Low While Running

Keep your heart rate low when running by reducing exertion.

Keep your heart rate low when running by reducing exertion.

Running gives you a lot of bang for your workout buck, but sometimes it's important to keep your heart rate low. If your heart rate has a tendency to zing up to your max rate, or you're taking medications that can impact heart rate, such as pseudoephedrine, you want to keep your heart rate low during your runs. You can use several strategies to monitor and adjust heart rate to keep it low.

Calculate your target heart rate zone by subtracting your age from 220 and multiply the result by 50 percent. For example, if you are 40 years old, subtract 40 from 220 to get 180. Multiply 180 by 0.50 to get 90. Your goal heart rate is 90 beats per minute to stay on the low end of your heart rate zone.

Use a heart rate monitor during your run. While you can check your heart rate by counting your pulse for 10 seconds, that requires you to stop running. Instead, wear a heart rate monitor that you can glance at during your run to make sure you're working at the appropriate level.

Slow your pace. If your heart rate is creeping too high, slow down. The faster you run, the more energy you exert and the higher your heart rate goes. Slowing down lowers exertion and heart rate.

Run on a flat, even surface. Hills and off-road running offer many benefits, but they also require more exertion, which increases heart rate. Instead, run in a flat area that doesn't have obstacles, such as rocks or holes.

Run in cool weather. The hotter the temperature, the more your heart rate goes up.

Run in lower altitudes. Higher altitudes often have hills, but they also have less oxygen, which leads to greater exertion and heart rate to pump oxygen through the body.

Items you will need

  • Calculator
  • Heart rate monitor


  • Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a condition that requires strict monitoring of your heart rate.

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About the Author

Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.

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