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How do I find my target heart rate and why should I care?

Apr 29, 2014

Your target heart rate is the rate of your heartbeats per minute that is ideal for the type of exercise you are doing and what your particular goals are. For example, If you are trying to lose weight and using interval training, shoot for 60% for the lower intervals and 85-95% for the higher intervals depending on how long the intervals are and how long the whole session is. Don't be fooled by the charts on the cardio machines at the gym that tell you that 60% is ideal for fat loss..more intensity means higher energy output which will translate to an increase in metabolism!

An easy way to find you target heart rate is with the karvonan method:

Use 220-you age to get your max heart rate, then subtract your resting heart rate from that to give you what's called your 'heart rate reserve.' Multiply that number by the percent of intensity you want. (.8 for 80% etc.)-Kristen

Your target heart rate is a tool to help you gauge the intensity of your workout and help ensure you are exercising in a safe and effective manner. The most basic formula for calculating your target heart rate is 220 - your age ( for a 50 year old that would be 220 - 50 or 170 beats per minute). The 170 serves as your Max HR and then target zones are calculated using various percentages of your calculated max.-Keith

Target heart rate is a scale of how hard your heart is working cardiovascularly during exercise. It is measured in beats per minute and can be a good determinate of the intensity of your exercise. Target heart rate is important to make sure people are not over exercising or to see if they are not getting enough exercise. If your target heart rate is too high, you're straining. Slow down your pace a little. If your target heart rate is too low, push yourself a little harder. Target heart rate can be a good indicator to help you choose types of physical activities that are appropriate for your current fitness level, health goals and medical conditions.-Sara

A person's target heart rate varies according to their age and the intensity of the exercise they wish to complete. A simple mathematical equation (220 - Age (years) = HRMax) can predict a person's maximal heart rate during exertion; with this information, you can exercise at a certain percent of your maximal heart rate according to your exercise program.

The 5 different heart rate zones are:

- Moderate: 50-60% HRMax

- Fat-burning: 60-70% HRMax

- Aerobic: 70-80% HRMax

- Anaerobic: 80-90% HRMax

- Maximal output: 90-100% HRMax

Based on your own personal goals within your exercise program, you can use this information to calculate the exact heart rate range at which you should be exercising.-Andy


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