Here are the basic steps from Calli Coslett for ensuring your heart rate is in the healthy performance range while you exercise- from Livestrong.com: Overview Periodically checking your heart rate during exercise is a good way for you to monitor the intensity of your workouts and keep track of your progress as you increase your physical fitness level. Staying within 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate allows you to experience the benefits of exercise without tiring yourself too quickly, explains the American Heart Association. Monitoring your resting heart rate can help you assess your overall fitness level and help you adjust your routine to meet your goals. Step 1 Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. This calculation gives you your average maximum heart rate in beats per minute. Step 2 Multiply your maximum heart rate by .5 to determine the bottom of your target heart rate zone. Step 3 Multiply your maximum heart rate by .85 to determine the top of your target heart rate zone. Step 4 Start a fitness program by working out aiming for the lower part of your target heart rate zone for the first few weeks, recommends the American Heart Association. Step 5 Build up to a higher heart rate over the next six months, aiming for 75 percent of your maximum heart rate by the end of the six-month period. To determine 75 percent of your maximum heart rate, multiply your maximum heart rate by .75. Step 6 Work up to 85 percent, or the upper limit, of your target heart rate zone after six months or more of regular exercise if you wish. However, you do not have to exercise at the top of your target heart rate zone to get the benefits of physical activity. Step 7 Place two finger over your carotid artery on either side of your neck until you feel your pulse. Count how many times your heart beats in 10 seconds and multiply the number by six to determine your beats per minute while exercising. Step 8 Check your resting heart rate at the beginning of your fitness program and once every two weeks as you go through your program. Most people have a resting heart rate of between 60 and 80 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association. As your fitness level increases, your resting heart rate should drop... For more information and to read the entire article, visit Livestrong.com.