If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard that you should be exercising within a target heart rate, yet you don’t know what that number should be. Or, maybe you’re relying on a heart rate device that is using an outdated formula to calculate target heart rate. This may mean that you might be working too hard when you exercise. To dispel the confusion, here’s how to calculate your target heart rate for exercise:
Multiply your age by 88% (0.88). Subtract that number from 206. Your target heart rate should be within 65 to 85 percent of that number.
So, here’s how it would work for a 40-year old person:
40 multiplied by 0.88=35.2
170.8 multiplied by 0.65= 111.02 (the low end of the target heart rate range)
170.8 multiplied by 0.85=145.18 (the upper end of the target heart rate range)
So a 40-year old’s target heart rate would be 111 to 145. If you have any health conditions you should check with your physician before beginning an exercise regime. The target heart rate should always be considered an estimated goal.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, PhD.