It is important to check the heart rate while exercising because when the heart rate is too high, a person is overworking the body and the heart, but if the heart rate is too low, the person is not getting in a quality workout, according to the American Heart Association. When people spend time exercising without raising their heart rate adequately, they are less likely to reach their health and fitness goals, according to Mayo Clinic.
For people who are just starting to work out, it is recommended to work out at moderate exercise intensity rather than a vigorous exercise intensity. The moderate intensity zone is 50 to 70 percent of the maximum heart rate, while the vigorous intensity zone is 70 to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate, according to Mayo Clinic. To determine the maximum heart rate, the American Cancer Society offers a target heart rate calculator.
Heart rate monitoring is also important for people with heart conditions and people who are undergoing cardiac rehabilitation therapy, notes the American Heart Association. These people need to monitor their hearts to ensure that they do not stress the heart too much as this can lead to additional heart problems. It is also recommended that people with heart conditions speak with their doctors and physical therapists to determine the most appropriate and non-threatening physical activities. The heart rate can be monitored by taking the pulse or by using heart rate monitoring equipment, which will take the pulse automatically.