How to Find Your Maximum Heart Rate

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Find out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220, or by visiting a cardiologist for special testing. Learn how cardiologist use VO2 max testing to find out the maximum amount of exercise a person can do with information from a board-certified cardiologist in this free video on heart health.

Part of the Video Series: Heart Health
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eric Fisher, I'm a cardiologist with Capital Cardiovascular Specialists in Austin, TX and I'm here to answer the question, "How do you find your maximum heart rate?" The simplest equation that we use on a regular heart rate is 220 minus your age. And that will give you an estimate of your maximum heart rate. Obviously, this number is not the same for every person and it's just a rough estimate. The way that cardiologist use to determine your maximal age... maximal heart rate, not based on age, but based on your person is to put you into a situation where you exercise to maximal degree. And the best way to do that is to use what's called VO2 max testing, which determines the oxygen extraction from your blood by exercise and this requires specialized equipment and is not necessary generally to use for day to day activity or even for working out for sophisticated athletes.

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