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Exercise is Medicine

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Measuring Tools

Heart Rate

Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate and Target Heart Rate Chart

Another option: You may purchase a heart rate monitor that you can wear during your exercise to monitor your heart rate. Tracking your progression will be exciting, fun and very rewarding. Your target heart rate is your measuring tool to ensure that you get optimal benefits from your exercise program.

You will need to take a resting heart rate, before you exercise. Before you learn how to calculate and monitor your target training heart rate, you have to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while it’s at rest. You can check it in the morning after you have had a good night’s sleep and before you get out of bed. A healthy resting heart rate is 60-100 beats per minutes.

At the end of your exercise before you cool down, you will take your training heart rate. If your heart rate is between 50-85 percent of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age), you have made it to your training zone. If not, your goal at every exercise session is to progress to a level of intensity and time to reach your target heart rate training zone. To get the best benefits from your exercise program you will want to progress to 30-60 minutes of exercise per day within your target heart rate training zone.

Waist Circumference

At the start of your exercise program take a pre-measurement of your waist by placing a measuring tape snugly around your bare belly, starting at your belly button. Take waist circumference measurements at the end of every month to track the improvements in health. 

A high waist measurement increases your risk for heart disease.

Your waist measurement is high if:

  • Women: Waist measurement is more than 35 inches
  • Men: Waist measurement is more than 40 inches


At the start of your exercise program take a pre-measurement of your BMI. Take a post BMI measurement every 60 days. Take your height and weight and click on BMI Calculator, listed below, and enter your height and weight to calculate your BMI.

Use the BMI Calculator or BMI Tables to estimate your body fat. The BMI score means the following:

Underweight   Below 18.5
Normal  18.5–24.9 
Overweight 25.0–29.9
Obesity 30.0 and Above

Click here to learn more.