Knowing your target heart rate is important if you want to maximize benefits from your exercise and fitness program. Maximum benefit comes from exercising at 60–80 percent of your maximum heart rate. That is considered your target heart rate, and staying in that range reduces risk while conveying the benefits of exercise…
When you first begin an exercise program, it’s best to remain in the 50 percent of maximum range. Check with your healthcare provider to be sure.
So, just how do you calculate your target heart rate? Follow along, and in the next few minutes, you’ll know exactly what your target heart rate is.
Calculating Your Maximum Heart Rate
To work through this exercise, we’ll use the example of someone who is 35 years old. Just substitute your own age to arrive at your maximum heart rate.
Start with the figure 220.
Now subtract your age from 220 (220 – 35 = 185).
For the average 35-year-old, the maximum heart rate is approximately 185.
Calculating Your Target Heart Rate
Once you’ve arrived at your maximum heart rate, it’s just a matter of multiplying 185 X .5 to arrive at your beginner target heart rate (185 X .5 = 92.5). When you first embark on an exercise program, you want to keep your heart rate somewhere between 90 – 95 beats per minute.
Once you’ve become accustomed to your exercise program, you can up that target rate to between 60–80 percent of your maximum heart rate. For our example, that would be (185 X .6 = 111) or 111 beats per minute on the low end and (185 X .8 = 148) or 148 beats per minute on the high end.
Determining Your Heart Rate
On the palm side of your wrist, you’ll find your pulse just below the thumb. Place the index, third and fourth fingers (but not the thumb) of the other hand on the pulse. Once you find the pulse, using an analog watch with a second hand, count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds. Now, multiply that by 6 and you arrive at your heart rate or beats per minutes.
Exercising within your target heart range ensures that you’re getting the most from your exercise sessions. It keeps you working, but it also helps to keep you out of trouble. If you start to feel like you’re working too hard, take a break, and take your pulse.