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How To Figure Max Heart Rate

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How Is Target Heart Rate Calculated

How to Calculate Your Max Heart Rate For Fitness Training
  • Resting Heart Rate. Measure your heart rate while at rest by counting the number of beats your heart makes in 1 full minute the first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Begin counting the first beat as zero.
  • Maximum Heart Rate. Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
  • Maximum Heart Rate Reserve. Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate.
  • Lower Limit of Heart Rate. Multiply your maximum heart rate reserve by 0.5 to determine 50% of your heart rate reserve. Add this number to your resting heart rate.
  • Upper Limit of Heart Rate. Multiply your maximum heart rate reserve by 0.7 to determine 70% of your heart rate reserve. Add this number to your resting heart rate.
  • Voilà. Your target heart rate range is between your lower and upper limit of your heart rate. Keep in mind that this calculation does not take into account any of your specific health conditions or medications. Check that your health care provider agrees with your calculated target heart rate.

Be careful! This calculation does not take into account any of your specific health conditions or medications. Check that your provider agrees that the target heart rate youve calculated is safe for you.

How To Find Your Target Heart Rate

First, it helps to know your resting heart rate, Martin says. Find your pulse . Then count the number of beats in a minutethats your resting heart rate. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100, he says. The more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate for very fit people, its in the range of 40 to 50 beats per minute.

Target heart rate is generally expressed as a percentage of your maximum safe heart rate. The maximum rate is based on your age, as subtracted from 220. So for a 50-year-old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. At a 50 percent exertion level, your target would be 50 percent of that maximum, or 85 beats per minute. At an 85 percent level of exertion, your target would be 145 beats per minute. Therefore, the target heart rate that a 50-year-old would want to aim for during exercise is 85 to 145 beats per minute.

But theres an easier way to figure it out if you want to skip the math: Wear a fitness tracking device, or exercise on a treadmill or other machine that calculates target heart rate for you, Blaha suggests.

Why Calculate Max Heart Rate

Calculating max heart rate is necessary for heart rate training and understanding what your heart rate zones are. Once you know what your max HR is, you can then monitor your heart rate while exercising and track what percentage of your max you hit during certain workouts and activities.

Different percentages of your max HR represent various heart rate training zones, which are useful to target depending on what your goals are. For example, as you can see in the chart below, exercising at 70-80% of your max heart rate is good for improving your overall level of aerobic fitness.

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What Is Peak Heart Rate Fitbit

Target heart rate zones are calculated using maximum heart ratethe highest number of times your heart can safely beat in one minute. To keep things simple, Fitbit uses the common formula of 220 minus your age to estimate your maximum heart rate. So a 35-year-old would have a max heart rate of 185 .

What The Experts Do

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

Monitor Heart Rate for Motivation

For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.

Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.

Stay on Top of Your Heart Health

If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.

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Use The Heart Rate Reserve Formula

While not technically a measure of max heart rate, another formula you can use to determine training intensity is the Karvonen method, or heart rate reserve formula. Your heart rate reserve is a measure of the difference between your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate in other words, the range of speeds at which your heart is capable of contracting. Since HRR factors in your resting heart rate a loose measure of your current level of cardiovascular fitness its a good one to use if youre training consistently and seeking higher levels of cardiovascular fitness.

To calculate training intensity using HRR, follow these steps:

First, measure your resting heart rate:

  • Gently place your fingertips on one side of your windpipe until you find a pulse.
  • Count your heartbeats for 30 seconds and multiply the result by 2 to calculate beats per minute .
  • For a more accurate reading, measure your RHR first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed.

Second, find your heart rate reserve:

  • Subtract your RHR from your MHR. Men should use the Inbar formula for this women can use either Inbar or the Gulati formula .

So, a 30-year-old man with a resting heart rate of 60 BPM would subtract his age x 0.685 from 205.8 to get an MHR of 185, then subtract his resting heart rate to get 125.

Third, determine your exercise intensity:

Easy Steps To Find Your Target Heart Rate Range

Ryan Lawson, Exercise Specialist

Were all familiar with the phrase use it or lose it, and it perfectly applies to our body and muscles. Muscles are made to be used, and if theyre neglected its our health and quality of life that suffers.

Cardiovascular exercise is defined as any activity that increases your heart rate. Elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time will improve your heart health. A stronger, healthier heart is able to more efficiently deliver oxygen to the muscles and also burn more fat while youre exercising and resting.

The benefits of a stronger heart through cardiovascular exercise are numerous. In addition to a stronger heart and lungs, regular exercise has been shown to lead to better sleep, less stress, reduction in mood swings and depression and an overall more active lifestyle.

You have a target heart rate zone that you should strive for during activity. A simple way to calculate it would be to first find your predicted maximum heart rate, which you can find by subtracting your age from 220. Once youve figured your maximum heart rate, you can find your target healthy heart rate range by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 65 percent to find the low end of that range and multiply your maximum heart rate by 85 percent to find the high end of the range.

Example: The maximum heart rate for a 45-year-old is 175 and the target heart rate range would be about 113 to 149 beats per minute.

Read Also: How Does Fitbit Calculate Heart Rate

Understanding Your Target Heart Rate

Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.

Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H. Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.

How Can I Test Heart Rate

Maximum Heart Rate

Heart rate can be assessed on your own, or by a professional. You can find the number of beats per minute when at rest or during times of exercise.

If you do this on your own, you simply need to have a heart rate monitor of your own or use one that is together with cardio exercise equipment. It can also be done without equipment.

Lets discuss assessing heart rate without equipment first if you choose to go this route.

To do this, you will be assessing your own pulse by touching one of your main arteries in the body and counting the beats you feel.

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Search For Cardiologists Near You And Schedule Your Next Appointment Today

Have you ever felt your heart beating quickly during a workout and stopped to check your pulse on your wrist or neck? Your pulse determines your heart rate, or how many times your heart beats in one minute. Pulse rates differ from person to person based on various factors, such as weight and activity level. To get the best results, you should exercise below your maximum heart rate in what is referred to as your target heart rate this will guarantee that you are achieving the ideal intensity level for your goals. Knowing and monitoring your maximum heart rate while you’re active can be a powerful gauge of your intensity level and help you to avoid over- or underexercising.

Heart Rate by Age

The traditional method, also known as HRmax, is a simple way of gauging your maximum heart rate. Start by subtracting your age from 220. Then, use the result to calculate your range.

For example, if you’re 50 years old, the calculation would be: 220 – 50 = 170 . To calculate your heart rate on the high end of the suitable range , multiply 170 by 0.75 to get about 128 beats per minute .

Heart Rate by Age and Gender

Heart Rate by Age and Resting Heart Rate

For example, a 50-year-old with a resting heart rate of 65 would calculate as follows:

  • 220 – 50 = 170 for HRmax
  • 170 – 65 = 105 for RHR
  • + 65 = about 144 bpm


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.

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How To Find Resting Heart Rate In 4 Easy Steps

  • Put your left pointer and middle finger on your right wrist .
  • Place the two fingers on your radial artery, which is in line with your left thumb. You may need to feel around to find your pulse.
  • Count the number of times you feel your pulse over 15 seconds.
  • Multiply that number by 4 to find your resting heart rate in beats per minute .
  • Did you know that?

    Resting heart rate is a really good indicator of fitness level. The lower your resting heart rate, generally the more fit you are.

    Note: This does not mean that someone with a lower resting heart rate than you is fitter than you. However, a decrease in your resting heart rate is a good indicator that you are getting healthier and fitter.

    What Is Your Mhr

    Are You Working Out Hard Enough?

    Advanced heart rate monitors at a doctors office are the most accurate way to measure MHR. But there are three calculations called the Fox, Tanaka and Gulati formulas that are all valid methods to estimate your max heart rate on your own, Matt Cheng, CSCS, tells

    The Fox formula is the most commonly referenced formula for calculating your MHR, and its used by many major health organizations, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic.

    The Fox method, says cardiologist Steve Atchley, MD, is often recommended for its simplicity, while the Tanaka formula is the more accurate of the two, he says .

    To find your MHR with the Fox method, all you need to do is subtract your age from 220.

    The Fox formula: 220 your age

    The Fox formula, which has been around for decades, has been criticized for neglecting to incorporate research surrounding MHR in older adults. The Tanaka formula was developed in response to that in 2001, after analyzing MHR values from 351 different studies with more than 18,000 subjects of different ages and sexes. The Tanaka formula, first published in January 2001 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, better factors in age-related changes in MHR.

    To calculate your max heart rate with the Tanaka method, multiply your age by 0.67, then subtract that value from 206.9.

    The Tanaka formula: 206.9

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    Our Maximum Heart Rate Calculator Uses A Safer Formula

    There are trainers out there that are still using the old method to determine a persons maximum heart rate.

    The changes came after the realization the old formula was greatly underestimating old folks maximum heart rate.

    So, the effect on young bucks is minimal. However, its risky for our gramps and grans.

    How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate With A Field Test

    Besides estimations and tests, you can calculate max heart rate by putting on your running shoes, firing up your heart rate monitor, and heading out into the real world.

    You wont need fancy laboratory equipment for the field test but youll still get an accurate and personal estimation of your maximum heart rate. The premise is simple: you warm up properly and then do an exercise that brings you close to your maximum effort.

    Please note that for a maximum effort field test its best to call a friend and have them join you, just to be on the safe side. Also, make sure you have some hard training under your belt from recent weeks.

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    How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate

    This article was co-authored by Steve Bergeron. Steve Bergeron is a Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, and the Co-Owner of AMP Fitness in Boston, Massachusetts. With over a decade of experience, Steve specializes in educating, guiding, and empowering his clients to develop healthy habits and reach their individual fitness goals. He holds a BS in Exercise Physiology and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach , ASCM Health and Fitness Specialist , Strong First Kettlebell Coach , and Certified Functional Movement Screen Specialist . AMP Fitness mission is to create a community that is inclusive and gives people the tools and support they need to succeed.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,656,595 times.

    What Is My Maximum Heart Rate

    Heart Health : How to Find Your Maximum Heart Rate

    So now youre ready to start calculating max heart rate, where should you start?

    If youve ever attempted to calculate resting heart rate, then is obviously the opposite of this. Instead of calming your heart down, youre going to push it to the limit.

    Calculating maximum heart rate requires that youre ready to sweat and have the right equipment to measure it for you. If youre simply curious to know what is my max heart rate, then you can always start by using the tools below to estimate it.

    Is there anything that will influence your maximum heart rate? Factors such as age, fitness level, stress and medication like beta blockers will affect your heart rate.

    Does your sex affect your max heart rate? To calculate max heart rate male or female is exactly the same. However, you may be interested to know that smaller people usually have a higher maximum heart rate, which is why women often have a higher rate than men.

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    How To Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Zones

    Heart-rate training benefits everyone, from the beginning exerciser trying to lose weight, to individuals trying to improve their cardiovascular fitness, to the highly conditioned athlete preparing for the next competition.

    The key to making progress is to elevate your heart rate into the correct training zone, so your effort matches your goals.

    Here are seven easy-to-follow steps that will help you calculate your ideal heart-rate training zone.

    How To Measure Your Heart Rate

    To properly utilize heart rate training, you need an easy way to track your heart rate. Of course, you can always go old school, use a timer and place your fingers on your pulse to check beats per minute during your workouts, but that can get challenging when your heart rate soars, and youre trying to count beats while huffing and puffing. Fortunately, chest straps and wrist watches make measuring your HR instantly easier.

    Just about any GPS-tracking watch will also track heart rate with at least moderate accuracy, but if youre looking for the most accurate option available, studies show youll be best served by opting for a chest-strap monitor.

    According to a 2017 study comparing chest strap and wrist-based heart rate monitors, the Polar H7 was the most accurate of the seven products tested. Of course, there are many options on the market that havent been tested with this type of scientifically-validated approach, but of those that have been studied, these products consistently achieve the most accurate results:

    A waterproof, optical HR monitor for your arm

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