How To Calculate Your Target Heart Rate Zone While Exercising
Exercise intensity is linked to how fast your heart beats, so keeping track of your heart rate can give you an idea of how hard your body is working and whatâs typical for you.
There are two common measures to ensure youâre getting the most out of a workout:
- Max heart rate, which is the upper limit of what your body can handle during exercise.
- Target heart rate is the ideal range to ensure your heart is being worked properly.
You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Then, when youâre doing moderate physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 64% and 76% of your maximum and for vigorous activity, the target is between 77% and 93%.
So, for example, an average, healthy 30-year-old should have a heart rate that stays between 121 and 144 beats per minute during moderate exercise, and between 146 and 176 bpm during intense exercise to get the most out of their workout.
The graph below is a rough estimate of target heart rate zones across ages, according to the American Heart Association. The numbers are meant to be general guidelines, so you should consult your doctor to discuss these numbers:
If your heart rate is higher than your target range during exercise, consider possible explanations before getting too worried. Osborne says he often sees people unnecessarily concerned if their heart rate is higher than that âtargetâ range when, in fact, they might just be seeing the effects of starting a new workout routine.
How To Check Your Resting Heart Rate
The best places to check your pulse are your wrists, the inside of your elbow, the side of your neck, and the top of the foot, according to the American Heart Association.
The wrist or neck is easiest for most people, Osborne says, but wherever you can get a good read is fine there’s no location that’s necessarily more accurate than another.
Here’s how to do it:
- Place your index and middle finger on your wrist or neck. Refrain from moving or talking as you press gently and feel for a mild thumping sensation.
- When you feel a consistent pulse, keep your two fingers in the same spot.
- Using a timer to keep track, count your pulse for thirty seconds. Multiply that number by two to calculate your heart rate in beats per minute.
According to Osborne, it makes sense to check your heart rate regularly about every month or so. To get the most accurate measurement, you should take it a few times in a row and try not to smoke, drink alcohol, or have caffeine beforehand, as they can influence your heart rate.
A normal resting heart rate usually ranges bewteen 60 to 100 bpm in adults, but it can vary based on your age, genetics, health conditions, and fitness level.
If you are interested in checking your heart rate while exercising, you’ll need to use a different measure.
Why Is My Heart Rate So High When Jogging
What is best heart rate for fat burn?
To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 35-year-olds maximum heart rate is 220 minus 35 or 185 beats per minute. To enter the fat-burning zone, shed want her heart rate to be 70 percent of 185, which is about 130 beats per minute.
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Why Does My Heart Beat So Fast When Running
During cardio exercise such as running, your heart rate increases. Your heart rate while running can be a good measurement of how hard youre working. As your pace and work rate increase, so does your heart rate. Blood circulates to your muscles so they can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to keep going.
How To Use Target Heart Rate Zones In A Training Plan
A typical training plan utilizes multiple training zones. You wont train in each zone for an equal amount of time, though. The time you spend in each zone will vary, usually with more time spent in lower heart rate zones. Heres one example of how a training plan might allocate your time spent in each heart rate zone:
Zone 1: 30%-40% of your time
Zone 2: 40%-50% of your time
Zone 3: 10%-15% of your time
Zone 4: 5%-10% of your time
Zone 5: 5% of your time
A typical training plan will designate precisely how much time you spend in each training zone. As mentioned before, not all training plans use the same exact zones. If you were preparing for a 5K or 10K trail running race and wanted to follow this training plan, for example, youd need to set up your device with heart rate zones that are in that training plan.
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How Many Beats Per Minute Is Normal
According to the British Heart Foundation, we can work out our max heart rate by taking away our age from 220. For example, if you are 50-years-old, you would do the following calculation:
220 50 = 170 beats per minute
Using this figure, we can work out a target range for your heart rate by multiplying by 50% and 70%. So, for a 50-year-old, this would be:
170 x 50% = 85 BPM
170 x 70% = 119 BPM
Therefore, if youre 50, your average heart rate should be between 85 and 119 BPM.
Start With Resting Heart Rate
You should test your resting heart rate before measuring your training heart rate. The best time to test your resting heart rate is first thing in the morning, before youve gotten out of bed ideally after a good nights sleep.
Using the technique described above, determine your resting heart rate and record this number to share with your doctor. You might try checking your resting heart rate for a few days in a row to confirm that your measurement is accurate.
According to the American Heart Association , the average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, this number may rise with age and is usually lower for people with higher physical fitness levels. The AHA notes that physically active people, such as athletes, may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
Whats Your Ideal Heart Rate
Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. You can measure it while at rest and while exercising . Your heart rate is one of the most reliable indicators that youre pushing yourself hard enough while exercising.
If youve been diagnosed with a heart problem or if you have any other risk factors of cardiovascular disease, talk to a doctor before you start exercising and trying to establish a training heart rate range. They can tell you which exercises are safe and appropriate for your condition and fitness level. Theyll also determine what your target heart rate should be and if you need to be monitored during physical activity.
Its helpful to know some basics so youre more informed when speaking with your doctor. Below are some important things to know about your heart rate.
How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate Over Time
As a person starts to exercise regularly and gain fitness over time, they will be able to exercise within a higher heart rate zone. This is because they are training their heart and muscles to respond to repeat exertion.
People may start out with a target of 50% of their maximum heart rate, but before long, they will be able to comfortably train at a target of 85%.
A 2018 review study found that people can improve their heart health and lower their resting heart rate by exercising regularly. Regular exercise reduces a persons risk of heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions.
However, the researchers also suggest that continuously high levels of exercise such as marathon running could be harmful to heart health.
Engaging in aerobic and endurance exercises also contributes to improved fitness, increased muscle tone, and improvements in general physical and mental well-being. In fact, one 2016 meta-analysis reports that exercise has a large and significant antidepressant effect on people with depression.
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How To Check Your Heart Rate
You can check your heart rate by counting the pulse. A pulse can be felt at various sites on the body like over the sides of the neck, the wrist, and the top of the foot. To check your pulse on the wrist with the help of your middle finger and index finger, you need to:
- Keep your middle finger and your index finger over the inner part of the wrist and keep pressing gently until you can feel your pulse. The pulse is felt in your radial artery.
- After you have located your pulse, look at the watch, and start counting the beats for 30 seconds. Doubling this count will give you your heart rate. You can even count the beats for 10 seconds and multiply the number by six to get your heart rate.
If you find the rhythm of your heartbeat slightly irregular, you will have to count the beats completely until 60 seconds. You will have to visit your doctor if you keep getting a fast and irregular heart rate consistently.
Maximum And Target Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate during workout sessions can help you determine whether you are doing too much or not enough, the AHA says. When people exercise in their “target heart zone,” they maximize the cardiovascular benefits of their workout that’s because, when your heart rate is in the target zone, “you are pushing the muscle to get stronger,” Bauman said.
A person’s target heart rate zone is between 50% and 85% of their maximum heart rate, according to the AHA. Most commonly, maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. So for a 30-year-old person, for example, the maximum heart rate would be 190 bpm: 220 30 = 190.
The target zone for a 30-year-old person would therefore lie between 50 and 85% of 190:
- 50%: 190 x 0.50 = 95 bpm
- 85%: 190 x 0.85 = 162 bpm
For a 60-year-old person, the target zone would be between 80 and 136 bpm.
You can either manually calculate your heart rate during exercise or use heart rate monitors that wrap around the chest, or are included in sports watches. However, that’s not to say that exercising without getting the heart rate up to the target zone has no benefit, Bauman said. It just doesn’t challenge the heart to its fullest extent.
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How To Determine Your Ideal Heart Rate
As you can tell, your ideal heart rate is dependent on many factors, so determining an ideal can take practice and self-monitoring. Mehta has this advice: It is important to know that there is no heart rate that is necessarily too low or too high with exertion. I would base these levels more on how an individual feels. For example, when I exert myself too much, my heart rate is 180 bpm, and I feel very short of breath. In this case, training to an HR of 180 appears too high, whereas, for others, it can be normal.
With that said, there are methods of determining your ideal heart rate based on the maximal heart rate for your age. A simple calculation is 220 minus your age equals maximal heart rate. Two other more complicated, however perhaps more accurate formulas are:
Tanakas Formula :
208 minus = maximum heart rate
Gulatis Formula :
206 minus = maximum heart rate
This number is purely hypothetical since many people cannot attain their maximal heart rate because doing so is simply too uncomfortable. High-level athletes can maintain and even surpass their theoretical maximal heart rates, says Burns.
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Exercising With Too Low Heart Rate
It is normal for your heart rate is to go up or increase when you are performing exercises. Your heart rate will even go higher when you do cardio exercises.
This is a natural response as your body tries to take in and transport more oxygen during aerobics. The result is an overall healthy and fit body.
However, if your heart rate doesnt increase as it should during your cardio workouts then it can be a result of a heart problem.
Ideally, you should reach about 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate during exercises. Something might be wrong if this is not the case.
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What Is The Normal Heart Rate After Exercise
We have looked at the normal resting heart rate and the active heart rate during exercise. So, now, we will discuss the normal heart rate after exercise.
Again, this rate is highly based on your age and the activity you were performing. The rate will differ because your heart is beating differently as it approaches the normal resting heart rate. So, the normal rate 30 seconds after exercise is not equal to that taken 20 minutes after exercise.
An easier way to measure your heart rate after exercise is to wear a chest monitor or fitness bracelet . You now know that a normal resting heartbeat should range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
If not, you can test your heart rate by counting your pulse rate. Place two fingers between the bone and tendon in your wrist and count the number of beats per 15 seconds. Then, multiply this number by four to get your pulse rate.
This will give you the pulse rate per minute. Again, this is a reflection of your heart rate. You can do this several times to determine your heart rate after exercise.
Before we sign out, let us do a quick run-through of some critical pointers. They are as follows:
Certain Symptoms Are Worrisome Too
Chest tightness, extreme shortness of breath, and lightheadedness at any level of activity is concerning, Robinson said.
That tells me youre pushing the limits beyond your heart can handle outstripping your hearts ability to compensate, he said.
If you notice these symptoms while you work out, it might mean that you have issues with the valves in your heart or that youre pushing too hard.
Those are all warning signs to back off, he said. If these symptoms go away immediately, you should just note that level of exertion was too much. But, Robinson noted, if they dont go away or begin happening at lower levels of exertion, you need to call your doctor.
He stressed that chest pain, particularly, is a big deal. If youre having continued chest pain, you probably want to be seen ASAP, he said. Theres a low likelihood that this will occur during or after a workout, but, if it does, you dont want to wait to see a doctor.
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Food As Fuel Before During And After Workouts
Your body is your vehicle, so you have to keep your engine running when you work out. That means fueling up your body by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids, in the right amounts at the right times.
The American College of Sports Medicine says, Adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during, and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time. Athletes should be well hydrated before exercise and drink enough fluid during and after exercise to balance fluid losses.You dont have to adhere to a rigid schedule and there are no hard-fast rules, said Riska Platt, M.S., R.D., a nutrition consultant for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. But there are some things you should do before, during and after you work out.
Best Smartwatch For Heart Rate: Apple Watch Series 6
Price when reviewed: Â£379
We can debate whether you should call the Apple Watch Series 6 a sports watch or a smartwatch, but theres no doubting its become a solid device for heart rate monitoring and its latest Watch much like the Series 5 impresses in the heart rate monitoring department. In fact, it might be offer one of the best wrist-based optical sensors weve tried.
From a fitness point of view, weve put it through the same rigorous testing as we do with all of the wearables on this list and it really impresses where a lot of wrist-based monitors falter. Were talking high intensity interval training.
Data is viewable inside of Apples own Workout app but the benefit of having a strong collection of third party Watch apps means you can also view that data in places like Strava and Runkeeper.
If you dont care about working in heart rate zones though, its well equipped for taking reliable resting heart rate readings throughout the day and with the addition of an ECG, its now fit to tap into heart rate readings to detect serious heart issues including atrial fibrillation.
That data can be viewed inside of Apples own Health app and also be exported to a PDF to be shared with medical professionals.
Along with the improved hardware, Apple has clearly done some software tinkering too to improve the performance of its heart rate monitor in a big way.
Sample Apple Watch Series 6 data:
HR compared: Apple Watch Series 6 and Wahoo Tickr chest strap monitor
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