What’s your target heart rate?

Amanda FloecknerHealthy Living

For aerobic exercise a target heart rate can be calculated using a simplified equation for maximum heart rate, multiplied by a percentage.

220 – Age = Maximum Heart Rate
Multiply your maximum heart rate by two numbers, 0.65 and 0.80 for a range of 65 to 80% of the maximum heart rate.

Take for example a 40 year old:
220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute
180 x 0.65 = 117 beats per minute
180 x 0.80 = 144 beats per minute

The target heart range for a 40 year old is between 117 and 144 beats per minute.

It is important to know your target heart rate zone to ensure that you are exercising at the level in which you will receive the benefits of the exercise being performed. Exercise at lower intensities, such as 40 percent of your maximum heart rate, may not be enough to improve your fitness level, see weight loss, improve endurance or cardiovascular health.

Injury can sometimes result from exercising at a too high intensity and cardiac complications are possible.

What is the optimal fat burning intensity of exercise?

People may believe that lower intensity, 50 – 60% of maximal effort, is the best zone to burn fat as fat is the main substrate being utilized. However, exercising at higher intensities, 70 – 80%, in fact burns more total calories and therefore is a better zone for fat burning.

By Molly Johnson, Cardiopulmonary Coordinator/Exercise Specialist