Targeted Heart Rate
A Percentage of Maximum Heart Rate



Maximum heart rate is the maximum number of times your heart can contract in one minute, or the heart rate that a person could achieve during maximal physical exertion.

Your maximum heart rate generally declines with age from about 220 beats per minute (BPM) in childhood to about 160 BPM at age 60. This fall in heart rate is fairly linear, decreasing by approximately one BPM per year.

Heart rate is a term used to describe the frequency of the cardiac cycle usually calculated as the number of contractions (heart beats) of the heart in one minute and expressed as BPM.

The average adult human heart beats at about 70 BPM (males) and 75 BPM (females) and can be greatly influenced by endurance training.

The pulse rate (which in most people is identical to the heart rate) can be measured at any point on the body where an artery's pulsation is transmitted to the surface - often as it is compressed against an underlying structure like bone>

Some common sites for taking pulse rates include the wrist, neck, abdomen and groin area.

maximum-heart-rate-pulse

The heart rates listed on the Fox and Haskell formula are based on the average fitness of persons in the age brackets indicated, and are broken down in percentages from the maximum for different levels of exercise intensity.

You may be more or less fit, and your actual maximum rate and zones may be higher or lower. You should therefore consult your physician for the maximum rate that is right for you and the heart rates that you can safely exercise at.

The graph is merely a guideline, showing the generally suggested target heart rate for persons in each age category. As noted previously, your optimal target rate may be higher or lower depending on your fitness level.

The best way to burn fat during exercise is to start slowly with a less intense exercise and gradually increase your intensity until your heart rate during exercise is between 60-85% of your maximum heart rate, and continue at that pace, keeping your heart rate in that target zone for over 20 minutes.

maximum-heart-rate-chart

To get the most out of your workout, you should frequently monitor your exercise intensity to insure you are working within your heart rate training zone.

If you work too hard you're likely to injure yourself and possibly burn out. If you're not working hard enough you may get frustrated when you don't see results over time.

  • Take your pulse: Place your index finger and middle fingers directly under your ear, then slide your fingers down until they are directly under your jawbone, pressing lightly. Start with zero on the first beat and count for 10 seconds then multiply by six. Always check your pulse frequently throughout your workout to make sure you are within your target heart rate zone.
  • Heart rate monitor: Get a heart rate monitor. It will monitor your heart rate throughout your workout via a transmitter worn around your chest ad a watch on your wrist.
  • Talk test: You should be able to carry on a conversation during your workout. If you are breathless, or can't talk, you're working too hard! Slow down. Also, keep in mind that dizziness and lightheadedness is not a good sign. If you experience this, you are overexerting yourself and should stop.

Always remember: if any type of exercise is new to you start off slow with short sessions and build your way up gradually. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions be sure to check with your doctor for advice before you begin a program.

Always try to exercise within your targeted heart rate for optimum results which is a percentage of your maximum heart rate based on age, fitness level and program goals.

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