To read a pulse rate chart, use your age to determine your target heart rate range. While exercising, stop to take your pulse. If it is below the range, increase the amount of exercise, and if it is above the range, decrease the amount of exercise, as WebMD explains.
Calculate your target heart rate range by taking 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is determined by subtracting your age from 220, according to the American Heart Association. Usually, it is recommended that a person just starting an exercise regimen aim for the lower end of the target heart rate range and to slowly increase your pulse as you continue to exercise. The figures for target heart rate and maximum heart rate are averages and may vary depending on your level of activity or heart condition.
To determine your pulse as you exercise, WebMD recommends using the tips of your index finger and middle finger to press lightly on the palm side of the wrist or lower neck. Once you feel the blood pulsing under your fingertips, count the beats that you feel for 10 seconds. Then, multiply this number by six to calculate your heart rate per minute.