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Target heart rate

The target heart rate is a guideline that can help you stay in a safe exercise heart rate range.

As your age increases, your target heart rate will decrease.

Tip

If you are just starting an exercise routine, you may want to start out at 60 to 70 percent of your target heart rate.

As you become more fit, you may want to progress to 70 to 80 percent of your target heart rate.

The target heart rate is based on 60 to 80 percent of a maximum heart rate.

  • If you keep your heart rate in the lower range of the guideline, you will be able to exercise longer.
  • If you keep your heart rate in the higher range of the guideline, you will have better cardiorespiratory fitness.

For example: If you are 30 years old and just started an exercise program, your target heart rate would be between 114 and 133 beats per minute, and 19 to 22 beats per 10 second count.

Target heart rate maximum - Target training zones

 

Approximate maximum heart rate

Maximum target training zones (beats per minute)

Age
Heart rate
60%
65%
70%
75%
80%
85%
20
200
120
130
140
150
160
170
25
195
117
127
137
146
156
166
30
190
114
124
133
143
152
162
35
185
111
120
130
139
148
157
40
180
108
117
126
135
144
153
45
175
105
114
123
131
140
149
50
170
102
111
119
128
136
145
55
165
99
107
116
124
132
140
60
160
96
104
112
120
128
136
65
155
93
101
109
116
124
132
70
150
90
98
105
113
120
128
75
145
87
94
102
109
116
123
80
140
84
91
98
105
112
119
 

It is important to exercise at a safe and effective training level. There are three ways to check that you are working at the right level for you.

how to take your pulse

Check your heart rate. To do this:

—Find your pulse on your wrist. (See illustration.)

—Put two fingers on the inside of your wrist just below your thumb. (See illustration.)

—Press lightly until you feel your pulse.

—Count the heartbeats for 10 seconds. Multiply the heartbeats by six.

—If your pulse is irregular or skips beats, count the beats for a full 60 seconds.

—The average resting rate is between 60 to 100 beats each minute.

—If your rate is higher than average, slow down and don't exercise so hard.

Do the "talk test." This is your ability to have a fairly normal conversation while exercising. If you can sing, you need to work a little harder. If you have trouble talking, you need to slow down.


 

Source: Allina Patient Education, Prediabetes: Reducing Type 2 Diabetes Risk Through a Lifestyle of Good Nutrition and Activity, first edition, dia-ahc-94403

First published: 04/02/2009
Last updated: 04/02/2009

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts