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Target Heart Rate Calculator

Your target heart rate is ideally 50% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is simply 220 minus your age. Enter your age to see your ideal min and max heart rate when exercising.
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Know Your Target Heart Rate and Target Heart Health

The health benefits of working out are well known, but did you know there's a simple way that you can maximize your benefits? By knowing about your target heart rate, you can optimize your workouts to reap the most rewards possible. As I always tell my clients during training, "Why workout harder when you can work out smarter?"

What Is a Target Heart Rate?

The target heart rate is a specific range specified by medical and health professionals which enables your heart and lungs to attain the maximum benefit during aerobic exercise. By staying in this target heart rate zone a workout is safely optimized, an overlooked risk due to the fact that when you exercise, your heart rate speeds up in response to the increase in energy demands. By finding out your specific target heart rate, you can be sure that your heart doesn't overwork itself which can be a potentially deadly situation. Instead, your target heart rate will provide a sort of perfect training zone in which your heart and lungs can safely and efficiently strengthen themselves, one of the key factors to good health and longevity.

A common misconception is that your target heart rate is just one rate. Rather, it is a range of rates which are recorded as different percentiles of your safe maximum heart rate. These rates are actually your beats per minute (or BPM).

How Can I Figure Out My Target Heart Rate?

Generally speaking, the target heart rate is 50% to 80% of your maximum heart rate, a number that can be figured out by subtracting your age from 220.

So if, for example, a 27 year old male was to figure out his target heart rate, he would simply subtract 27 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 193. To find his target heart rate range, simple multiple 193 and .5 for the low range (96.5 BPM) and 193 and .80 (154.4 BPM) for the high range. Keeping your heart rate inside of these two numbers (96.5 BPM and 154.50 BPM) will provide you with the optimum workout while keeping you safe and healthy.

Keeping Track of Your Heart Rate and Staying Inside Your Target Heart Rate

After you've figured out your target heart rate, it's time to put it into action. During your exercise routine, it's important that you regularly take your pulse by checking your BPMs. To do this, use the second hand on your watch (or the stopwatch function on your cell phone as I do) and count how many times your heart beats in ten seconds. The best places to feel your pulse are on the inside of your wrist or on your neck just below where the jaw angles. Use your pointer and middle fingers to feel your pulse, pressing lightly on the beating vein. Once you have the number of heartbeats in a 10 second period, multiply this by 6 and this is your BPM. Make sure this number stays inside of your target heart rate zone all throughout your exercise routine.

Other Factors for Target Heart Rate

Of course, there are many other factors that go into a precise target heart rate measurement such as gender, weight, height, age and fitness level. Please consult a medical professional if you have any questions regarding your target heart rate.

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