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Stress Management for Health Course

Finding Your Target Heart Rate Range

 

"The race isn't always won by the swiftest, but to those who keep running." (Unknown)

Research has shown that in order to gain the optimum benefits from exercise your heart rate has to be raised above a certain level and for it to be maintained there for 20 minutes.  Heart rate provides the best way to monitor your exercise intensity or level of exertion.  To receive maximum cardiovascular benefits you should walk at an intensity that raises your heart rate between 60% to 80% of your predicted maximum heart rate.  Those who have been inactive, or are overweight or pregnant, or who have special medical conditions should see their doctor for specific exercise guidelines.  It should also be noted that medication such as beta blockers affect the heart rate response to exercise.  If you are taking these medications you will need to adjust your target heart rate range downward, see your doctor for specific advice.

The table below shows you how to find out your target heart rate range. Find the age nearest to your own or you can do the maths yourself using the steps given below the table.  These heart rates are estimates and should be used as general guidelines.  You should also monitor how you feel. 

 

Target Heart Range

(heart beats per minute)

 

       Age

60%

max

80%

max

Predicted max heart rate (beats/min)

 

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

120

117

114

111

108

105

102

99

96

93

90

160

156

152

148

144

140

136

132

128

124

120

200

195

190

185

180

175

170

165

160

155

150

 

To be more specific to your actual age you can use the following steps to calculate your Target Heart Rate Range:

 

Step 1

First Calculate your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate in beats per minute by subtracting your age from 220:

220 - _____ (Your age) = _____(Your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate)

 

Example

          If you are 45 years old:

220 - 45 = 175 (Predicted Maximum Heart Rate for a 45 year old)

 

Step 2

Next you need to work out Your Lowest Target Heart Rate that you need to aim for during exercise, by multiplying your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate by 60% (or .6)  

 

________

(Your predicted Max.Heart Rate)

X 60% =(or .6) 

________

(Your lowest Target Heart Rate)

 

Example

If you are 45 years old and your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate is 175

      175 X 60% (or .6) = 105 (Lowest Target Heart Rate for a 45 year old)

 

Step 3

Last you need to work out Your Highest Target Heart Rate that you can aim for during exercise, by multiplying your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate by 80% (or .8)

 

________

(Your predicted Max.Heart Rate)

X 80% =(or .8) 

________

(Your Highest Target Heart Rate)

 

Example

 If you are 45 years old and your Predicted Maximum Heart Rate is 175

 

      175 X 80% (or .8) = 140 (Highest Target Heart Rate for a 45 year old)

 

So when you are exercising you are aiming for a heart rate in the range of the two figures you have just worked out in steps 2 and 3.  So in the example given, if you are 45 years old, you need to aim to get your heart rate between 105 and 140 beats per minute during exercise.

 

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