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Measuring how your heart reacts to exercise

  • Target Heart Rates

    The target heart rate is a guideline which can help you stay in a safe exercise heart rate range. This will help you improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. This means your heart and lungs will become stronger. As your age increases, your target heart rate will decrease.

    Learn how to measure your pulse / take your heart rate.

    The target heart rate, also known as THR, is based on 60 to 80 percent of a maximum heart rate. To figure your THR, use the table on this page.

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

    If you are just starting an exercise routine, you may want to start out at 60 to 70 percent of your THR. As you become more fit, you may want to progress to 70 to 80 percent of your THR.

    Learn more about good exercise guidelines.

    Certain medicines will lower your heart rate response. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any questions.

    Age 60% 65% 70% 75% 80%
    20 120 130 140 150 160
    21 119 129 139 149 159
    22 119 129 139 149 158
    23 118 128 138 148 158
    24 118 127 137 147 157
    25 117 127 137 146 156
    26 116 126 136 146 155
    27 116 125 135 145 154
    28 115 125 134 144 154
    29 115 124 134 143 153
    30 114 124 133 143 152
    31 113 123 132 142 151
    32 113 122 132 141 150
    33 112 122 131 140 150
    34 112 121 130 140 149
    35 111 120 130 139 148
    36 110 120 129 138 147
    37 110 119 128 137 146
    38 109 118 127 137 146
    39 109 118 127 136 145
    40 108 117 126 135 144
    41 107 116 125 134 143
    42 107 116 125 134 142
    43 106 115 124 133 142
    44 106 114 123 132 141
    45 105 114 123 131 140
    46 104 113 122 131 139
    47 104 112 121 130 138
    48 103 112 120 129 138
    49 103 111 120 128 137
    50 102 111 119 128 136
    51 101 110 118 127 135
    52 101 109 118 126 134
    53 100 109 117 125 134
    54 100 108 116 125 133
    55 99 107 116 124 132
    56 98 107 115 123 131
    57 98 106 114 122 130
    58 97 105 113 122 130
    59 97 105 113 121 129
    60 96 104 112 120 128
    61 95 103 111 119 127
    62 95 103 111 119 126
    63 94 102 110 118 126
    64 94 101 109 117 125
    65 93 101 109 116 124
    66 92 100 108 116 123
    67 92 99 107 115 122
    68 91 99 107 114 122
    69 91 98 106 113 121
    70 90 98 105 113 120
    71 89 97 104 112 119
    72 89 96 104 111 118
    73 88 96 103 110 118
    74 88 95 102 110 117
    75 87 94 102 109 116
    76 86 94 101 108 115
    77 86 93 100 107 114
    78 85 92 99 107
    79 85 92 99 106
    80 84 91 98 105

    Measuring Metabolic Energy Equivalent (MET)

    A metabolic energy equivalent (MET) measures how much effort an activity requires from you.  

    Try to increase your average MET level during cardiac rehabilitation.  

    Gradually increase your resistance and speed to increase your MET level.

    See the Metabolic Energy Equivalent chart to see types of activities you can measure.

    Learn more about MET exercises you can do: