Target Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate

Achieving your target heart rate is key to maximizing the effectiveness of your areobic work out. Knowing your Target Heart Rate range is a good number to have in your health tool portfolio. Your Target Heart Rate is a range of numbers that give you the optimal heart beats per minute you should strive for in order to work your heart muscle for good cardiovascular health. It can also help you understand your work out intensity.

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What is your Target Heart Rate?

When you exercise your heart is working harder than when you are relaxed. This is good for your heart and you. Knowing your Resting Heart Rate is important but it is also good to know what your heart rate is when you are working out.

Your Target Heart Rate is the number of beats your heart is using while you exercise.

Are your workouts intense enough? Your Target Heart Rate can answer that question.

The healthier you are the higher you can work towards the high end of your target heart range.

The American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a general target heart rate of:

  • Moderate exercise intensity: 50 to about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate
  • Vigorous exercise intensity: 70 to about 85 percent of your maximum heart rate

The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program recommends a target heart rate of 65 percent to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate for moderate-intensity exercise.

How to know if you are in your Target Heart Rate Range?

While Exercising – Stop

Take Your Pulse for 15 Seconds

Multiply This Number by 4 to Calculate Your Heart Beats per Minute.

From the Target Heart Rate Calculator are you in your range?

(You may take your pulse at the neck, wrist, or chest. The wrist is usually easiest. Use your index and middle fingers and place lightly over the artery. Start the count on a beat. The first beat is zero. Count for 15 seconds. Multiply by 4. This gives you the beats per minute.)

What to do with what you know!

If your heart rate is too low (not even in your exercising heart range) increase your intensity level.

If your heart rate is too high (over your range or at the high end) back off your intensity, slow down.

When you are just starting out aim for the lower range of your target heart rate range and gradually increase intensity and move up in the range.

The ideal range for work outs is 50 % to 85 % of your maximum heart rate.


If when working out you have pain or are short of breath you are working out too hard!

Consult Your Doctor If:

You have heart disease or any kind of heart condition.

You have Diabetes

Men over 45 – Women over 55

Take high blood pressure medications.

On any maintenance medications or have a medical condition.

High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

HIIT work outs are short bouts of maximum effort followed by longer less strenuous exercise. This is safe for even those with certain cardiac conditions. HIIT exercise increases cardiovascular fitness and promotes weight loss.

Resting Heart Rate

Your Resting Heart Rate is the number of times your heart beats while doing nothing. This number is determined by taking your one minute pulse rate when you wake in the morning before getting out of bed.

According to the National Institute of Health, the average resting heart rate:

• Children 10 years and older, and adults (including seniors) is 60 – 100 beats per minute

• Well-trained athletes are 40 – 60 beats per minute


Calculator Source: Rimmer JH. Fitness and Rehabilitation Programs for Special Populations. WCB Brown & Benchmark Publishers. 1994

To burn more fat do workouts that raise your heart rate to the average level and do them longer.


HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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