Target Heart Rate Calculator
Your target heart rate is the range at which exercise is considered safe and effective. It is a percentage of what your maximum heart rate should be. This calculator uses the age-based method to figure out your target heart rate for how hard you exercise. Medium-intensity aerobic exercise includes activities such as walking fast, yard work, or doing water aerobics. High-intensity aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, cycling, and swimming laps.
Your target heart rate is to beats
per minute (60 seconds). This is based on your age and the intensity of the exercise. Your maximum heart rate is beats per minute.
About your results
Your target range depends on your intensity of exercise. For medium intensity, your target rate should be 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. Are you just starting an exercise program? Your target health rate should be at 50% to 60% of your maximum rate. Becoming more fit? You may increase your heart rate to 70% of maximum. Do you have any health problems? Are you an older adult? Talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.
Your target range depends on your intensity of exercise. For high intensity, your target rate should be 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. This assumes that you do a lot of exercise and don't have problems that would make exercise unsafe.
Finding your heart rate
You can find out your heart rate when you exercise. First, stop briefly to take your pulse. The easiest spots to find your pulse are at your neck and wrist. Place your fingers (not thumb) on either of these spots. Press lightly. Count the beats you feel for 60 seconds. Or count for 30 seconds and double the result. You can also use a pulse monitor. You can buy these at sporting goods stores and some drugstores. Many start watches can also take your pulse.
Why should you care?
Regular exercise is important. It can help you stay healthy and at a normal weight. When you exercise, you should know how much your heart is working. Your target heart rate can tell you that. Keep in mind that exercise doesn't have to be hard to give you health benefits. You can improve your fitness and health by doing a medium-strength workout a total of 150 minutes each week. Or with a harder-strength workout a total of 75 minutes each week. You can break this up into smaller parts during the day. If you are a beginner, start at a less active level. Then work up to more active exercise as you get more fit.
This tool does not replace the advice of a healthcare provider.