What is My Target Heart Rate?
The target heart rate varies from person to person, with age and fitness level being two factors. However, you can identify your own target by measuring your normal resting heart rate. This will give you an idea of how hard your heart works while you’re sitting, relaxing and not doing much activity in general. You can use your resting heart rate to determine what a healthy heart rate is during exercise.
Identifying your target heart rate will require a bit of simple math. You can find a heart rate chart online if you’d prefer. By calculating the number yourself, however, you’ll get a more precise number. Whereas charts will show you the average ideal heart rate of someone your age, they usually don’t account for personal details such as health or fitness level.
Here’s how to find your personal target heart rate:
- Determine your maximum heart rate: Your max heart rate is the total number of times that your heart is physically capable of beating in a normal minute. This number is generally the same for people of a similar age. Find this number by subtracting your age from 220. If you’re 20, for example, your max heart rate will be 200. If you’re 60, your max heart rate will be 160.
- Find your resting heart rate: Check your pulse to find your normal resting heart rate. Your pulse rate reflects your heartbeat. Hold your right index finger over the underside of your left wrist (toward the base of your thumb) and keep track of the number of times your pulse beats in sixty seconds. It will most likely be between 60 and 95 beats per minute. Try doing this when you wake up in the morning, before you’ve done any physical activity.
- Find your heart rate reserve (HRR): By subtracting your normal resting heart rate number from your max heart rate, you’ll find what’s called the HRR.
- Multiply your HRR number by 70%: Take your HRR number and plug it into a calculator. If you can do the math in your head, that’s great too. Simply multiply it by it by .7 (70%). Add this number to your normal resting heart rate.
- Multiply your HRR number by 85%: Take your HRR number and multiply it by .85 (85%). Add this number to your normal resting heart rate.
- You’ve found your target heart rate: This is your target heart rate range. Your optimum heart rate will be between these two numbers. These should give you an idea of what your heart rate should be during exercise and, therefore, how hard you need to work out when you hit the gym.