Learn more about heart rate basics and use these heart rate charts to help you understand and improve your overall cardio fitness. Understanding the different types of
heart rates and what they represent, you can measure your overall cardio heart health.
Knowing how to measure a maximum heart rate, and understanding how a target your heart rate zone while exercising can set the stage for successful weight loss, get the maximum benefits of any exercise regime and ultimately help you to understand the overall health of your heart.
Q: What is a heart rate?
A: The average number of heart beats per minute; a heart beat is when the heart contracts to pump blood thru your system.
Q: What is a resting heart rate?
A: Resting heart rate is the number of beats in one minute while you are at a complete rest state. Your resting heart rate indicates your basic overall heart health and fitness level. The more conditioned your body is, the less effort it needs to make to pump blood thru your body.
Q: What is a recovery heart rate?
A: This is the heart rate your body will drop to after two minutes, after stopping an exercise session. For instance you exercised for 30 minutes and your heart rate was at 155. Two minutes after you stopped exercising, your heart rate then decreased to 95. This recovery heart rate measure helps to evaluate your overall heart fitness level. Use this measurement to compare between exercise sessions
Q: What is a maximum heart rate?
A: A maximum heart rate (Max HR) is the highest number of beats your heart contracts during a one minute measurement. Max HR is a useful tool to measure training intensities and typically is used to measure or predict the level of exercise. It's always good to measure your Max HR while doing exercises to ensure you stay within a safe range or use it to measure if the exercise is actually working well enough to raise your heart rate to acceptable ranges and levels.
Q: How do I measure a
A: The best method of determining your individual maximum heart rate is to be clinically tested and monitored on a treadmill. This is called a treadmill stress testing and is done by a cardiologist or certified physical therapist. Based on your age and physical condition, a formula is used to predict your Max HR. The other method is by using an age-predicted maximum heart rate formula:
WOMEN: 226 - your age = age-adjusted Max HR
MEN: 220 - your age = age-adjusted Max HR
Example: If you are a 30-year-old woman, your age-adjusted maximum heart rate is 226- 30 years = 196 bpm (beats per minute).
*note that this formula allows you to estimate your Max HR. Be sure to consult with your exercise trainer and doctors for the most effective rates that are customized to your health.
Heart Rate Charts:
Heart Rate Chart: Babies to Adults
||Beats Per Minute (BPM)
|Babies to Age 1
||100 - 160
|Children ages 1-10
||60 - 140
|Children age 10+ and adults
||60 - 100
||40 - 60
Target Heart Rate During Exercise
||Min-max Heart Rate (BPM)
||123 - 164
||120 - 160
||117 - 156
||114 - 152
||111 - 148
||108 - 144
||105 - 140
||102 - 136
||99 - 132
||96 - 128
||90 - 120
||90 - 120
||87 - 116
Q: What is your heart rate reserve?
A: The heart rate reserve is the difference between your Max HR and your Resting HR. For instance, if your Max HR is 150 bpm and your resting HR is 65, this means your heart rate reserve is 95. (150 - 65 = 95)
Q: What is a safe heart rate?
A: Your "safe heart rate" is a heart rate that is prescribed to help moderate and supervise your exercise training so that you don't over do it. This range is typically about 60% of the maximum heart rate and helps to reduce the amount of stress on the heart while gaining good effects of exercise. This is especially important if you have a heart condition or just starting an exercise regime.
Q: What is a target zone?
A: A target zone is a heart rate range that helps you maintain an intensity level while you work out. There are different target zones for different types of athletes and levels of exercise you are following. Target zones typically correspond with a specific exercise goal and helps to effectively grade if an exercise is actually working for you or overworking you.
Fitness Target Zones: Heart Rates
(Max HR %)
|50% - 60%
||Burn Fat & Calories
||60% - 70%
|Base - Aerobic
||Increase stamina & endurance
||70% - 80%
||Fitness conditioning, muscle building, and athletic training
||80% - 90%
|Athletic - elite
||Athletic training and endurance
||90% - 100%
Select which level represents your physical condition and then locate the Heart Rate Zones for your age from the Target Heart Rate Chart. For Example: if you want to burn fat to lose weight, select your favorite exercise and keep within 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, based on your age, for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.