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Resting Heart Rate vs Max Heart Rate

Question: I'm a 48 yr.old female who has been consistently lifting weights and working out aerobically for the past 17 yrs. After reading your web site I purchased a heart rate monitor. I know that as you become fitter your resting heart rate will go down but what happens to your max heart rate? Marge

Answer: Hi Marge, Your maximum heart rate is genetically determined, and drops by one beat-per-minute each year. There is nothing you can do to raise your max or to keep it from dropping annually. So the best indicator of fitness to track is your resting heart rate. Some heart rate zone calculations use what's called the heart rate reserve, which is the span between your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate. Please visit the Articles section to learn more about calculating your heart rate zones in different ways.

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