How to find your target heart rate for exercise

How to find your target heart rate for exercise

Your heart rate is a good indicator of the intensity of a cardio workout. That's why it's a good idea to measure your optimal heart rate in order to gauge the demands on your body during exercise.

Target heart rate for moderate intensity exercise should be 50 percent to 70 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate, according the Centers for Disease Control. To find your target heart rate range for moderate exercise, just plug your age into a simple equation. A 30-year-old would subtract his or her age from 220, then multiply that number by 50 percent (0.50) to get the bottom number in this range. To find the top of the range, multiply by 70 percent (0.70).

220 - 30 = 190

190 x 0.50 = 95 beats per minute

190 x 0.70 = 133 beats per minute

Based on these numbers, a 30-year-old would need to stay within the range of 95 BPM to 133 BPM throughout the workout to achieve moderate intensity.

There may be times when a vigorous workout is the way to reach your fitness goals. The target heart rate for vigorous intensity exercise should be 70 percent to 85 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate. Just use the same equation to perform this calculation.

220 - 30 = 190

190 x 0.70 = 133 beats per minute

190 x 0.85 = 162 beats per minute

Based on this equation, a 30-year-old person would need to maintain 133 BPM to 162 BPM throughout the workout to achieve vigorous intensity.

Once you know your ideal range, you'll need to know how to find your heart rate during your workout. Here are the simple steps to check your heart rate:

  • During your workout, take your pulse by placing your index finger and third finger on your neck just to the side of the windpipe.
  • Count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply that by four to get your current heart rate.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your body during any kind of workout. If you feel dizzy or experience chest pain, stop what you’re doing and consult with your doctor.

Posted: 3/11/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: cardio, exercise, heart, rate

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