Is it important to monitor heart rate during exercise? What is the optimum heart rate?
No, the average person does not need to monitor their heart rate and the inability to monitor heart rate should not keep anyone from exercising. When a person is learning an exercise program, we might use a heart rate monitor with a target of 65% of their maximum heart rate (220 minus age), which is a good target for exercise. Once the person becomes familiar with the feeling of reaching that heart rate (pounding in chest, shortness of breath) he or she can use that feeling to future gauge their heart rate without monitoring.