GET THE WORKOUT your heart needs 

Do you know your target heart rate?

You probably already know that a well-rounded exercise program, including aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility exercises, is good for you. “While all three types of exercise are important, aerobic activities are the ones that provide the greatest benefit for the heart,” says Preston Conger, M.D., director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at Georgia Regents Medical Center.

How hard should your heart work? Engaging in moderate-intensity activity for 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week can reduce the risk of heart disease. Whether you’re just beginning to exercise or stepping up your workout, it’s also important to know if you’re improving your heart and lung fitness. One way is to track your target heart rate during your activity. The most healthful activity level uses 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. To check your heart rate, measure your pulse as soon as you stop your activity. Count it for 10 seconds and multiply that number by six to get the number of beats per minute. Then use the chart to see whether you’re in the desired zone according to your age.

Fewer than 1 in 5 American adults get the recommended amount of activity each day to help prevent heart disease. Take advantage of the warm summer weather to get out and get moving. Your heart will thank you. Returning to activity after a heart problem? Cardiac rehabilitation safely guides you back to better health. To schedule a tour or for an appointment, call 706-721-9055.