How to Find Your Target Heart Rate on a Chart

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When you are exercising, checking your target heart rate can let you know if you are working hard enough for your workout to be effective, without overdoing it. Target heart rates are based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Because your maximum heart rate decreases as you get older, your target heart rate will decrease as well. The American Heart Association recommends that you aim for a target heart rate of 50 percent to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate.

  • Go to the ACS target heart rate calculator enter your age, press "Go," and you will instantly get a range for your target heart rate.

  • Alternatively, use the Karvonen Method, which uses your resting heart rate and gives you a more customized result.

  • Calculate your resting heart rate by taking your pulse for one minute when you first wake up, before you get out of bed.

  • Enter your resting heart rate and your age in the Polar calculator ( "Karvonen Method Target Heart Rate), and press "Calculate" for the result.

  • When you are exercising, take your pulse by placing two fingers lightly against the side of your neck or the inside of your wrist. Count beats for 10 seconds, and then multiply that by six to get your heart rate per minute.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

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