Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Target Heart Rate?
What does this tool help you learn?
This tool will help you find your target heart rate based on your age, resting heart rate, and activity level. Your target heart rate can guide you to how hard you should exercise so you can get the most aerobic benefit from your workout.
What does your score mean?
Your target heart rate depends on how physically fit you are. For example, if you are not active and not physically fit, your target heart rate is a little lower than the target heart rate of someone who exercises every day. This tool gives you a range of what your target heart rate is, based on how much you usually exercise.
You can use your target heart rate to know how hard to exercise to gain the most aerobic benefit from your workout. You can exercise within your target heart rate to either maintain or raise your aerobic fitness level. To raise your fitness level, you can work harder while exercising to raise your heart rate toward the upper end of your target heart rate range. If you have not been exercising regularly, you may want to start at the low end of your target heart rate range. Then exercise harder over time.
To take your heart rate during exercise:
- You can count the beats in a set period of time (for example, 30 seconds) and then multiply by a number to get the number of beats per minute. For example, if you count your heartbeat for 30 seconds, double that number to get the number of beats per minute.
- You can also wear a heart rate monitor during exercise so you don't have to take your pulse. A heart rate monitor shows your pulse rate continuously, so you see how exercise changes your heart rate. Then you can work harder or easier to keep your heart working in your target heart rate range.
Target heart rate is only a guide. Each person is different. So pay attention to how you feel, how hard you are breathing, how fast your heart is beating, and how much you feel the exertion in your muscles.
Try to make physical activity a regular and essential part of your day. But if you haven't been active, start slowly. And be sure to talk to your doctor before you add regular exercise to your day.
Current as of: May 12, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Richard B. Kreider PhD, MX, DPC, FACSM, FASEP - Exercise Physiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.