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How Do You Determine Your Target Heart Rate

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How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate

Heart Health : How to Find Your Target Heart Rate

Written byDevon AndrePublished onFebruary 21, 2017

Your target heart rate is meant to be your goal when exercising in order to ensure that you are working out effectively while not overdoing it. Target heart rates vary based on personal fitness level and may be different for each individual. To find out how to calculate and reach your target heart rate, continue reading.

How Do I Get My Heart Rate In The Target Zone

When you work out, are you doing too much or not enough? Theres a simple way to know: Your target heart rate helps you hit the bullseye so you can get max benefit from every step, swing and squat. Even if youre not a gym rat or elite athlete, knowing your heart rate can help you track your health and fitness level.

How Does This Target Heart Rate Calculator Function

This health tool can help you answer to what is my target heart rate and will offer some more personalized information as well. It uses the Karvonen method, explained below and takes account of your age and resting heart rate to determine the optimal heart rate and the range of the target heart rate. Please note that in general the human heart rate ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute .

The need for such a calculator occurred when it was discovered that in order to maximize the advantages of cardiovascular activity it is recommended to exercise in the zone of target heart rate which is generally speaking at 60-80% of maximum heart rate.

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Why Does Resting Heart Rate Matter

Resting heart rate is an indicator of overall health. Changes in resting heart rate can be among the first signs of an underlying issue. Having a lower resting heart rate doesnt necessarily indicate a cause for concern. Elite athletes and people who have a high fitness level tend to have lower resting heart rates. Medications and sleeping patterns can also lead to lower resting heart rates.

In some cases, low heart rates or significant decreases from your normal baseline can be a sign of an underlying problem such as heart disease. Additionally, heart attack, underactive thyroid, and some infections can also cause low resting heart rate.

Your heart rate varies when youre under stress during strenuous exercise and when youre just lounging. Its normal for your heart rate to be higher when you exercise because your heart has to pump oxygenated blood to your organs faster when youre exerting a lot of energy. Exercise and mood changes can cause an increase in resting heart rate. Think about the last time you were really excited or nervous. The feeling of your heart pounding in your chest is a reflection of an increased heart rate.

When your heart rate is consistently too high, you may have a health problem. Asthma and other breathing conditions can cause an increased resting heart rate. Anemia, heart problems, and medications can also raise heart rate numbers.

Calculating Your Target Heart Rate: An Equation To Estimate

How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate: 9 Steps (with ...

To calculate your estimated target heart rate range, first find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 40 years old, your estimated maximum heart rate is 220 minus 40, or 180 beats per minute.

Next, take your estimated maximum heart rate and multiply that value by both 0.5 and 0.85. Using the same example as above, with a maximum heart rate of 180, you would multiply 180 by 0.5 to get 90 as the low value in your target heart rate range, and multiply 180 by 0.85 to get 153 as the high value in your target heart rate range. Therefore, an individual 40 years old can estimate that they should exercise at an intensity that increases their heartbeat to between 90 and 153 beats per minute.

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Target Heart Rate Calculator Chart

Use this target heart rate calculator chart to determine your heart rate in four exercise intensity zones. Select your age to find an estimated maximum heart rate zone and the range of beats per minute in each zone: low intensity, moderate intensity, vigorous intensity, and the aerobic zone.

Your Maximum Heart Rate

First, calculate your maximum heart rate , roughly 220 minus your age. This is the upper limit of what your heart can handle during exercise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest exercisers aim for a target heart rate of 70 to 85 percent of your MHR.

However, this is just an estimate for an average heart rate to shoot for. In fact, many people have a higher or lower MHR, sometimes by as much as 15 to 20 beats per minute.

Even if at 85% of my age predicted max heart rate, if Im at 80% and I feel like Im struggling, or definitely if Im having any sort of symptoms, then thats when youre going to want to back off. Having the linkage between, Yes, we should know where our HRs are, but being aware of how we feel is really the bigger thing while were exercising, Kleski says.

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How Do I Find My Target Heart Rate

To find your target heart rate zone, you first have to know your max heart rate. The simplest way to determine that is to subtract your age from 220. That number is a general guideline for your max heart rate. Then multiply that number times the percentage listed in the exercise heart rate zone you want to be in.

For example, a 40-year-old woman has a max heart rate of 180 beats per minute . To exercise in the lower-intensity zone, multiply 180 times 50% or 60%. The target heart rate would range from 90 to 108 for a low-intensity workout.

Some exercise machines like treadmills automatically track your heart rate for you. But you can also track it yourself by wearing a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker.

What heart rate is too high?

Anything over your max heart rate is unsafe. But its also about duration, says Travers. You can do short bursts in a higher, more intense heart rate zone. Overall, though, its best to spend longer periods in a zone below your max heart rate.

Exercise And Target Heart Rate

How to Calculate Target Heart Rate

The fitness world is full of exercise gadgets. Some are good, but many are more trouble than they are worth. Regardless of what shape you are in, 1 device you might find useful is a heart rate monitor.

The key to cardiovascular fitness is getting a good but safe aerobic workout. Heart rate monitors, which monitor your heart rate while you exercise, can help you do that with ease. They range from relatively simple devices that show at a glance how many times per minute your heart is beating, to devices that record information like how long you were exercising at your target heart rate.

Although target heart rates might seem too complicated for beginners, it’s important information to know regardless of your fitness level, says the American Council on Exercise.

Here’s a simple way to determine your maximum and target heart rates: Subtract your age from 220 to figure out your maximum heart rate. For example, if you are 35, your maximum heart rate is 185 beats per minute. Your target heart rate is 50% to 85% of that number, or 93 beats to 157 beats per minute. These numbers are based on a healthy adult.

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Put That Heart Rate Monitor To Good Use With This Handy Guide Based On Age

The sweat is pouring and your heart is pounding.But how fast or, how many beats per minute should you shoot for while exercising? Amy Kleski, the Wellness Center Membership Manager at the McConnell Heart Health Center, recommends being aware of your heart rate targets, but not letting that be the only thing that determines your workout.

The main thing is for people to pay attention to how they feel. We want people to have an awareness of what their heart rate is and their heart rate zones, but not to rely on it so much that they lose sight of how they feel while theyre doing the work, because thats the biggest indicator of how youre doing overall.

Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

The easiest way to do this is a simple paper-and-pencil calculation. Subtract your age from 220. The result is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute.

It’s important to note that this method does not take into account your fitness level or inherited genes, which can make your true maximum heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute higher or lower than the age-predicted number.

A second method to calculate your maximum heart rate is to have an exercise tolerance or stress test. This usually is supervised by a physician and performed in a hospital or clinical setting in three-minute stages, during which the speed and incline continue to increase in an effort to elevate your heart rate until it climbs to its highest level.

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Medications And Heart Rate

Several types of medications can lower your maximum heart rate and, therefore, lower your target heart rate zone.

Kleski also mentions the precautions to consider with heart rate zones. If someone is on an anti-arrhythmic or a beta-blocker of any sort, theyre going to struggle to get their HR up. Thats even more indicative of paying attention to how you feel when youre exercising and not relying on that heart rate zone.

These medications may include:

What Target Heart Rate Zone Should You Use

Maximum Heart Rate Formula

It’s your choice which zone you use, you can mix it up and enjoy moderate-intensity exercise on some days and vigorous on other days. You will be training different aspects of your aerobic and endurance exercise systems by exercising in different target zones.

  • Low-intensity zone: Don’t discount low-intensity exercise, such as walking at an easy pace. It can help relieve stress and it reduces the health risks you’d be increasing if you just stayed sitting. Many forms of flexibility and strength exercises are also lower intensity yet still have benefits for your muscles and physical condition.
  • Moderate-intensity zone: For health and fitness benefits, aim to exercise in the moderate-intensity zone for 30 minutes per day, five days per week for at least 150 total minutes per week. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend up to 300 minutes per week for additional benefits. This is the zone for brisk walking.
  • Vigorous-intensity zone: The physical activity guidelines recommends 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity if you’re not exercising in the moderate-intensity zone. This could be in the form of running or cycling in order to build cardiovascular strength.

A weekly walking workout plan varies your workouts throughout the week with different heart rate zone workouts. This plan can help you set up a great schedule to boost your fitness.

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Target Heart Rates Chart

What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.

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Do You Burn Fat In Zone 3

Zone 3. Just below or at your AT , the aerobic endurance zone is where your body begins to use an equal combination of fat and carbs as a fuel source and creates a higher caloric burn rate. This hard zone challenges your cardiovascular system and results in improved endurance and cardio efficiency.

Calculating Your Target Heart Rate


Your fitness routine has likely changed with current circumstances.

The pandemic year with gyms closed and stress levels high affected us in multiple ways. As we tiptoe back into an exercise regime, its important to do so with awareness. That includes knowing your actual target heart rate and using that number for a safe, effective workout, whether youre going out for a run, or heading back to a studio for the first time. Measuring your target heart rate is a concrete, numbers-dont-lie way to sneak a peek inside your body to find out what exercise intensity is right for you. In fact, it may be the piece of data that finally convinces you not to push too aggressively during your cardio routine or not take it so easy that you barely get your heart rate up. Not everyone is meant to work out the same way, and figuring out your target heart rate can give you a clearer sense of just how hard you should push yourself to improve your health and fitness.

Heart Rate and Your Health

During aerobic exercise, your heart, lungs, and circulatory system are called on to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles youre engaging. Your heart rate is one way to measure just how hard your body is working to do all of that.

Knowing your THR helps you navigate your workout safely and effectively.

How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which must be determined before you can zero in on your target range.

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Heart Rate For Exercise

Now that you know how to calculate your resting heart rate, you can also monitor your target heart rate when exercising. Target heart rate indicates the minimum number of times your heart has to beat in order to conduct cardiovascular activity. According to the American Heart Association and the CDC, the normal target heart rate should be 64% to 76% of your maximum heart rate.

Maximum heart rate is based on age. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. This is known as the Heart Rate Reserve method and gives you your target heart rate training zone. For example, say youre 60 years old. You would subtract 60 from 220 and get 160 beats per minute. Next, youd take 64% and 76% of 160 to get your target heart rate zone. Your target zone would be between 102 and 121 beats per minute.

These figures are just a guide so dont panic if your numbers arent dead on. If youre concerned about your resting heart rate or ability to reach your target heart rate during exercise, talk to your doctor. A qualified physician can help you figure out whats normal and what, if anything, you need to do to stay healthy.

Maximum Heart Rate Formula

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This and MHR prediction equations are the subjects of ongoing research since they tend to underestimate the MHR for people over age 30. That means that if you are older than 30 years of age, it may be more accurate to use +11/-11 deviation from the number as a more acceptable range. So if you are 35 years of age with a maximum heart rate of 183, the estimate would be between 173-193. And for women an the elderly, the maximum heart rate may be a little higher.

For a more customized heart rate percentage, you may wish to use the Karvonen formula which requires you to know your resting heart rate.

If you wear a fitness band or smartwatch that measures your resting heart rate automatically, that can be easily done. An advantage of using these devices to find your target heart rate is that they can be easily updated by the manufacturer to match the current research-backed zones.

If you want to find your beats per minute for any percentage of MHR, you can use an online target heart rate calculator. It will also show you the range of heart rate you should be in to be in the entire moderate-to-vigorous intensity fitness zone.

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First Things First: Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute when youre at rest.A good time to check it is in the morning after youve had a good nights sleep, before you get out of bed or grab that firstcup of java!

For most of us, between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal. The rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. An athlete or more active person may have a resting heartrate as low as 40 beats per minute.

When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. It usually means your heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.

Measure Your Heart Rate

Exercise and the heart: Hitting your target rate

To determine your heart rate, use your first two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels on your inner wristthe side by your thumb. Count your pulse for ten seconds and multiply this number by six.

If your heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, you have hit your target heart zone and are working at the right level of intensity.

Wearing a multifunctional fitness tracker such as the Fitbit, or Nike+ FuelBand SE, does the work for you. The device is worn like a bracelet or watch and measures your heart rate.

Exercising at the right level of intensity improves heart and respiratory endurance and helps keep your workout at a level that is vigorous enough to meet your health goals.

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