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What is a healthy exercise heart rate?

A healthy exercise heart rate is the maximum amount of beats per minute your heart should beat while you are exercising.

What this heart rate will be will vary depending on factors such as your age and what your resting heart rate happens to be.

Specifics are explained later in this article.

Look for our fitness report card to learn how to keep track of your exercise heart rate!

With so many people the world over looking to get into better shape, it is important that you make the most out of the workouts that you are able to participate in.

There are many things that you need to keep in mind when working out.

You need to warm up and stretch, you need maintain proper form and technique in whatever form of exercise you choose and not only do you need to monitor how your body feels during a workout, and you need to monitor your body’s vital signs as well, most notably, your heart rate.

Does your healthy exercise heart rate change with age?

In short, yes it does. While you might think that there are things that you can do to stop the effects of aging ( and in some cases, that is entirely possible) as you age your optimal heart rate while exercising is going to drop.

This will mean that as you get older you will need to closely monitor the intensity of your workouts.

Now that you know that your exercise heart rate is going to lower as you get older, you might want to know exactly what your heart rate should be. There are several different ways to calculate this rate.

The first method is known as the Karvonen approach. It is perhaps the easiest and why it doesn’t give you the most exact number, it is a good ball park number to work off of.

  • Simplest way: What you do is you take the number 220, and then you simply subtract your age. The number that you arrive at is considered your peak heart rate while exercising. This, however, isn’t very accurate and some experts suggest that you work towards a goal of 80% of that total number. What this means is that if you are 58 then your exercise heart rate should be 162, 80% of that is 129. While this isn’t a perfect method, it is easy to apply.
  • More accurate method: To get a more exact heart rate number you will need something a bit more involved than a simple piece of subtraction. The most precise number comes from a heart rate stress test. This particular method will give you the most accurate maximum heart rate number you can find.

From this number you can calculate what is the best percentage of your heart rate for aerobic and anaerobic exercise. You will know what your heart rate should be to exercise your heart and what heart rate levels you should try to reach to up your body’s metabolism.

How can a healthy exercise heart rate help?

The first thing that you will want understand is that when you have your heart rate number, whether it is achieved by the Karvonen method or by the more exact stress test, you will be able to monitor this number during your workout.

Having this number will also help to maximize your workout plan. With your maximum heart rate number in hand, you can carefully monitor the intensity of your workouts. With a heart rate monitor you will know when you need to push yourself harder during your workout and you will also know when you need to back off.

Sometimes your body will tell you when you should take it easy, but sometime it doesn’t. A heart rate monitor is a good way to keep track of your heart rate.

What are other things to keep in mind to maintain a healthy exercise heart rate?

Monitoring your heart rate is a great thing to do when working out. It helps you to keep yourself from overdoing it during a workout, it helps you to maximize your workouts but it helps you to play it safe.

If you are just starting an exercise program, it is wise, at least for a little while to start with a target heart rate slightly under your optimal target. While you may not get as much out of your workout as you would if you pushed it, this might give your heart as well as the rest of your body a chance to acclimate to a workout routine.

Lastly, always remember that before you start any new workout routine, consult with your doctor first. This is especially true if you are over 40 years of age, but talking with your doctor first is a good precaution at any age to ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk.

Check out a fitness report card to see how fit you are! 

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