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What Is Target Heart Rate?

You gain the most benefits and lessen the risks when you exercise in your ''target heart rate zone.'' Usually this is when your exercise heart rate (pulse) is 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate. In some cases, your doctor may decrease your target heart rate zone to begin with 50%.

Be careful not to exceed your target heart rate. This increases both cardiovascular and orthopedic risk and does not add any extra benefit. Instead, slow down until your heart rate gets into the proper range.

Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals, and physical condition.

When beginning an exercise program, you may need to gradually build up to a level that is within your target heart rate zone, especially if you have not exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. You will reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don't try to overdo it.

To find out if you are exercising in your target zone (between 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate), stop exercising and check your pulse. If your pulse is below your target zone (see the chart below), increase your rate of exercise. If your pulse is above your target zone, decrease the rate of exercise.

Age

Target Heart Rate (HR)

Zone (60%-80%)

Predicted Maximum Heart Rate

20

120-170

200

25

117-166

195

30

114-162

190

35

111-157

185

40

108-153

180

45

105-149

175

50

102-145

170

55

99-140

165

60

96-136

160

65

93-132

155

70

90-128

150

Your Actual Values:

Target HR:

Max. HR:

 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on July 27, 2014
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