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What Is Target Heart Rate Definition

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What Is Target Heart Rate

What is my target heart rate?

Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H. During exercise, you can monitor heart rate and try to reach this target zone. Doctors also use target heart rate to interpret the results of a cardiac stress test.

Is Resting Heart Rate Different By Age

For most of us , between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal.1 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 heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Now thats chill!

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.2

Measuring Your Target Heart Rate

There are several ways to measure your heart rate:

  • Resting heart rate – Your heart rate when youre not doing any activity.
  • Maximum heart rate – The highest number of times your heart can beat in one minute.
  • Target heart rate – The rate your heart should beat during exercise in order to get the most improvement in aerobic capacity . This is usually expressed as a range.

Your target heart rate is a percentage of your maximum heart rate. So to calculate your target heart rate, you have to first find out what your maximum heart rate is.

To calculate your maximum heart rate, use the following equation:

  • HRmax = 208 )

This formula has proven to be accurate regardless of gender or current physical activity levels.

To calculate your target heart rate, use the following equations:

  • During light intensity activity – Target heart rate is between 45% and 54% of your HRmax
  • During moderate intensity activity – Target heart rate is between 55% and 69% of your HRmax
  • During high intensity activity – Target heart rate is between 70% and 89% of your HRmax

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What Is Recovery Heart Rate

Recovery heart rate signifies the total time taken by the heart to restore its normal activity or functioning after moderate to severe exercise. It is calculated after cessation of activity over a fixed or referenced time-frame .

A better recovery heart rate suggests a healthy and well-conditioned heart. A failure to drop heart rate more than 12 beats per minute after exercise cessation reflects a high risk of sudden cardiac death.

Most exercise and athletic training regimens primarily focus on improving the endurance and conditioning of heart. The success of any regimen is marked by a desired recovery heart rate that also gives important information about the rate of dehydration and over-heating of muscles. In individuals who perform strenuous physical activity, sometimes 30 minutes are required for absolute return of heart rate to normal resting levels.

Watch a video to learn what recovery heart rate means and how to measure your recovery heart rate:

Heart Rate Chart: Rest Exercise And Target Pulse Rate

Your Pulse And Your Target Heart Rate

Heart rate, also knows as pulse rate refers to the number of heartbeats per minute . The heart can pump oxygen-rich blood to the tissues of the body through regular contractions. Your heart rate varies due to many factors. It is usually at its lowest during sleep and at its highest during periods of exercise. Age, gender, or physical condition can also cause different heart rates.

Heart rate is the basic indicator of overall heart health and fitness. It is essential for those who love fitness or care about health to pay attention to heart rate. To take full advantage of workouts, it is best to keep your heart rate between 60% and 85% of your maximum heart rate, called aerobic heart rate.

However, how to track the heart rate when working out? How to know whether the heart rate is in the normal range? This article provides you with various heart rate charts that can help find out the normal resting and maximum heart rates.

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What Should You Know About Your Heart Rate

Even if youre not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level and it might even help you spot developing health problems.

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Knowing yours can be an important heart-health gauge.

As you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition or other condition that needs to be addressed.

Helpful Numbers To Guide You

Dont confuse your target heart rate with your resting heart rate. This is the number of times your heart beats per minute when your body is at rest, such as right after you wake up.

Resting Heart Rate

For most of us, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The lower this number, the better. It means that your heart is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Some athletes and frequent exercisers can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute!

Target Heart Rate

When you exercise at a moderate intensity, your target heart rate is about 50 70% of your maximum heart rate. When you exercise at a vigorous intensity, its closer to 70 85% of your maximum. You can estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220. Here are some general target heart rate references:

  • If youre 20 years old, this number may be between 100 170 bpm.
  • If youre 40 years old, this number may be between 90 153 bpm.
  • If youre 60 years old, this number may be between 80 136 bpm.

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Target Heart Rate For Exercise

Your target heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. It is the level at which your heart is beating with moderate to high intensity. To determine your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age.

Sustaining a workout at this pace improves cardiorespiratory endurance. So knowing your target heart rate helps you pace your workouts. Exercising at the right level of intensity will help you avoid burning out or wasting time with a workout thats not vigorous enough to help you meet your goals.

How Long Should You Stay At Your Maximum Heart Rate

What’s My Target Heart Rate To Lose Weight?

The question of how long you should stay at your maximum heart rate is really more one of how long you can. Most people would not be able to sustain the effort necessary to stay at their MHR for more than a minute or so. Thus, even if you tried to stay above your MHR for a long time, youre unlikely to do so.

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How To Measure Active Heart Rate

People can measure their own heart rate during any given exercise by following the steps below:

  • Stop the exercise temporarily and immediately place the index and middle fingers firmly on the artery on the thumb side of the wrist.
  • Concentrate on feeling the pulse in the wrist.
  • When it is possible to feel the pulse, use a watch or the timer on a smartphone to count the number of times the heart beats in 60 seconds. Alternatively, count the beats for 30 seconds and multiply the number by two.

The number of beats per minute will tell someone their current heart rate, which can help them determine whether they are exercising at the right level of intensity.

People can also monitor their activity level via perceived exertion , which involves noticing physical signs of exertion in the body. For example, a person can consider how fast the heart rate feels and look for other signs of exertion, such as sweating and muscle fatigue.

Anyone experiencing drastic changes in heart rate, physical discomfort, or pain while exercising should stop the exercise and speak with their doctor.

The ideal active heart rate for someone will depend on their age. The following calculations can provide a rough guideline for the average adult.

What Is A Resting Heart Rate

The resting heart rate of the body is the number of contractions of the heart that occur in a single minute while the body is at complete rest. This number will vary depending upon the age, gender, and general health of a person. There will also be a large difference in the resting heart rate of athletes when compared to non-athletes

In general terms the resting heart rate of a person is a strong indicator of that persons basic level of fitness. The strength of the heart can be measured simply by taking the resting heart rate into account. A strong heart can pump more blood each contraction, meaning that a strong heart needs to beat less times per minute than a weak one in order for the body to have adequate blood flow. Thus, those who have a high resting heart rate do not have a sufficient level of fitness. Athletes will have the lowest resting heart rate of anyone, as they have had plenty of training to strengthen the heart in order to perform. This allows the heart of an athlete to pump a larger amount of blood per beat than that of an unconditioned person.

Your Resting Heart Rate is the number of times your heart beats while doing nothing. This number is determined by taking your one minute pulse rate when you wake in the morning before getting out of bed.

According to the National Institute of Health, the average resting heart rate:

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What Is Your Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate has everything to do with how effective your body is at burning fat aka, a great workout tool. Its your hearts level of intensity, measured in beats per minute , at which your body can burn the most number of calories per minute.

In other words, knowing your target rate helps you know your hot zone. It gives you an idea as to how hard you should work out. Maybe you need to run a little faster, squat a little lower or make your routine a little longer. All of this, of course, is to make you more efficient at burning fat, strengthening your heart and managing your overall health.

Workplacetesting Explains Maximum Heart Rate

Your Pulse And Your Target Heart Rate

Maximum heart rate, or MHR, is a dynamic process that measures the cumulative number of ventricular contractions or beats per minute in which blood reciprocally flows to and from the heart. Exercise is a pivotal determinant when measuring MHR because as the intensity of a workout increases, the heart rate will eventually peak and remain constant for the duration of activity. Metabolically, the heart is redoubling its capacity to pump oxygenated blood in proportion to the rapid development of carbon dioxide. It is possible for a maximum heart rate to reach a dangerously high number if a person is in poor condition or the exercise is too strenuous.

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What Does A Low Active Heart Rate Mean

A low active heart rate can mean that a person is not exercising intensely enough to benefit from the activity. For example, if a person is walking or jogging slowly, their heart rate may not be within the ideal range.

People with no underlying conditions who notice that they have a low active heart rate may want to increase the intensity of their workout to get it within the recommended range.

However, if someone is new to regular exercise or has a health condition that affects their ability to exercise, it may be better to aim for the lower end of the range initially.

The American Heart Association recommends that these individuals aim for 50% and gradually work upward as they develop more strength and stamina.

What The Experts Do

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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How To Calculate Your Recovery Heart Rate

Knowing recovery heart rate is fairly important to decide if you live a healthy or physically active lifestyle. This is also important if you are planning to initiate a particular exercise or physical activity regimen. The concept of recovery heart rate helps in assessing the overall health status and also indicates if the lifestyle or dietary habits require any modification or adjustment. Follow the three steps below to calculate your recovery heart rate.

Step 1: Learn the Target Heart Rate

In order to know your recovery heart rate, the first and foremost step is to know your target heart rate. You will need:

  • A place to perform desired physical activity
  • A stop-watch or a watch with 2-hands
  • Paper and Pencil to record the results

Review the table below to learn your age-based heart rate.

Contact Physical Activity Services

Target Heart Rate

If you have questions about physical activity or exercise, call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. Our qualified exercise professionals are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time. You can also leave a message after hours.

Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.

HealthLinkBCs qualified exercise professionals can also answer your questions by email.

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Instructions To Claim Cme Or Cne

  • When you enter the meeting environment , click Attendees tab.
  • As you participate in sessions, go back to the Attendees tab and click Evaluations.
  • Complete the brief evaluation per session, then click Continue.
  • Completing each evaluation tallies your CE total for your certificate. Download the certificate from the dropdown in the Attendees tab.

What Does A High Rate Mean

A high active heart rate can mean that a person is exercising too vigorously. If a person finds that their heart rate is higher than the recommended range, they should slow down or take a break.

Although it is beneficial for workouts to be somewhat challenging, it is not healthy to push the heart too hard.

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Patient Discussion About Heart Rate

Q. Why do people with a better cardiovascular fitness have lower heart rate? I recently met my old friend and that too after long time. We did go out and had a blast. He did show me his medical report and I was shocked to find out that he was having lower heart rate than me but was having better cardiovascular. He told me that it was quite normal but It was bothering me a lot. How could it be possible and I do see this as a deficiency. My friend does not agree with me and he told me that nothing to worry. I did try to research and found nothing with this regards. I am unable to sleep and would like to know on this. Can someone help me with answers?. Why do people with a better cardiovascular fitness have lower heart rate?


Q. I had my blood test as I was feeling dizzy and my heart rate was raised & I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism I had my blood test as I was feeling dizzy and my heart rate was raised & I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. It had just started when I was taking herbs for depression and anxiety. I am not taking herbs now and still feeling dizzy. Has anyone had any problem with Chinese herbs?


What Does Maximum Heart Rate Mean

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Maximum heart rate, or MHR, refers to the total number of beats per minute, or the sum of ventricular contractions in which blood is oxygenated and pumped throughout the body during strenuous exercise. This method serves as a benchmark for determining the relative health of any individual using a formula to calculate the extent at which maximal volume of oxygen is recycled by the heart.

Maximum heart rate calculation has changed some in recent years as the need to adjust the calculation for older individuals surfaced. A common formula for calculating maximum heart rate is: MHR = 208 0.7

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Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age

This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3

In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.

The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.

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Factors That Influence Heart Rate

  • Age
  • Dorsalis pedis

It is easiest to take the pulse at the wrist. If you use the lower neck, be sure not to press too hard, and never press on the pulses on both sides of the lower neck at the same time to prevent blocking blood flow to the brain.

When taking your pulse:

  • Using the first and second fingertips, press firmly but gently on the arteries until you feel a pulse.
  • Begin counting the pulse when the clock’s second hand is on the 12.
  • Count your pulse for 60 seconds
  • When counting, do not watch the clock continuously, but concentrate on the beats of the pulse.
  • If unsure about your results, ask another person to count for you.

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