Recommended Exercise & Heart Rate for Teenagers

Hot weather can increase the heart rate considerably during exercise.
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It's no secret that frequent exercise is an essential component of any healthy living plan. The American Heart Association recommends adults try to get 30 minutes of exercise in per day as often as possible, but teens should be encouraged to get much more exercise than the bare minimum. Monitoring your heart rate will allow you to keep track of the intensity of your workouts.

Recommended Exercise

Children and teenagers should be encouraged to perform at least an hour of physical exercise every day to keep healthy and fit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exercise should be split between aerobic, bone-strengthening and muscle-strengthening workouts. For aerobics, sports such as soccer or track are ideal. Gymnastics, pushups, jump rope and other muscle- and bone-strengthening workouts should be done two or three days per week.

Target Heart Rate

Your heart rate is one of the easiest measurements to take to determine your level of exertion during exercise. The American Heart Association recommends working in a safe target heart-rate zone between 50 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. An 18-year-old boy can find his maximum heart rate by subtracting his age from 220. This would put his maximum heart rate at 202 beats per minute, meaning he should exercise between 101 and 172 beats per minute. An 18-year-old girl can subtract 88 percent of her age from 206, putting her maximum heart rate at 190 beats per minute and her target heart-rate zone between 95 and 162 beats per minute.

Exercise Intensity

Workouts can be separated into intensity zone based on the heart rates they produce. Light- or moderate-intensity exercises such as jogging and field sports put you in an aerobic energy zone, while more intense workouts such as sprinting, interval training and resistance training push you into the higher anaerobic heart zone. Teens should only perform high-intensity anaerobic exercises two days per week to allow for proper rest and recovery.

Measuring Heart Rate

You can get a precise and accurate measurement of your heart rate by using a heart-rate monitor worn around your wrist or chest, but you can also estimate your rate of exertion yourself. Rating your effort on a scale of one to 10 tends to give you a surprisingly accurate idea of your heart rate and level of intensity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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