How to Figure Your Metabolic Heart Rate

Female nurse checking the pulse of a patient and smiling

Your heart rate and metabolic rate are two very different things. When a doctor takes your pulse, he is measuring your heart rate, or how fast your heart is beating. Your resting metabolic rate calculates how fast you burn energy when you are inactive. Both measurements can help determine overall fitness and health. Taking your pulse in the resting stages tells you how fast your heart must beat to sustain your life when you are not moving. RMR gives you an idea how many calories you burn without exercise. This helps to determine how many calories you can eat and each day without gaining weight.

Resting Heart Rate

Place your first and second finger on your radial pulse, or the pulse in your wrist. Do this first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Pulses can be difficult to locate at first. Do not press too hard on the skin surface. Gently lay your fingers on the thumb side of the wrist and move around until you feel the beat.

Count the number of beats you feel for 10 seconds. Use the second hand on a clock or watch to measure the time.

Multiply the number of beats by 6. For example, 10 beats in 10 seconds is a resting heart rate of 66, or 66 beats per minute.

Resting Metabolic Rate

Weight yourself first thing in the morning. Divide this number by 2.2 to convert to kilograms. For example, 120/2.2 = 54.5 kg.

Multiply your height by 2.54 to convert to centimeters. If you are unsure of your height, stand with your back to the wall. Use a pencil to mark where to top of your head meets the surface. Measure from the floor to the mark. For example, if your height is 5 ft. 4 inches, convert the feet to inches, 5 x 12 = 60 inches. So, 5 ft. 4 inches = 64 inches. Change inches to centimeters, so 64 x 2.54 = 162.6.

Use the formula to calculate RMR. Multiply weight in kilograms by 10. Write this number down. Multiple height in centimeters by 5 and write this number down. Then, multiply your age by 5 and write the number down. Add the final weight number to the final height number and subtract the age number and write this number down. For example: (10 x weight) + (6.25 x height) – (6.75 x age). Men should add five more to the sum. For example, if the final number is 100, your RMR is 105. Women should subtract 161 from the final number to get RMR. If the final number is 250, your RMR is 89.