Heart Health: What Should Your Heart Rate Be While exercising?


12 Mar, 2018


Like any other muscle in your body which grows stronger with exercise, your heart too gets stronger and healthier by regular exercise. Regular exercise can help your heart to pump blood more efficiently with little strain.

A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm), whilst resting. As you exercise, your heart rate increases. This helps your heart to pump more blood to meet the demands of the exercising muscles. To gain the most benefits of exercise and to be sure you are exercising safely, it is important that your heart rate be in the right range. This is known as your target heart rate zone.


Ensure that you're exercising heart right by monitoring your heart rate…

Your target heart rate range, is based on your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is roughly calculated as 220 minus your age. This is an estimate, but it does not require to be very perfect either.

 A 50-year-old would subtract 50 from 220 for a maximum heart rate of 170.

Moderately-intense exercise like brisk walking uses about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. 

Example: To work out the target heart rate for a 50-year-old:

170 x 50% = 85 bpm
170 x 70% = 119 bpm

So, a 50-year-old person should aim to exercise with their heart rate between 85 and 119 beats per minute (bpm).

For vigorous intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be 70 to 85 percent of MHR. However, it is not recommended to exercise above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Intensity at that level can increase both cardiovascular and orthopaedic risks with minimal, additional health-related benefit from exercise, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Consult your doctor !
It's best to check with your doctor before you start any exercise program and ensure that you're not participating in activities that may place too much stress on your heart. Your doctor can help you find a program and target heart rate zone that matches your needs, goals and physical condition.

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