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    Your Heart Rate

    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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