Heart Rate And Exercise

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Finding your heart rate

  • Find your pulse by placing 1 or 2 fingers (normally your 2nd and 3rd fingers) on the inside of your wrist on the side closest to your thumb or on your carotid artery which is on either side of your neck close to your wind pipe
  • Press firmly until you can feel your pulse. Do not push too hard so as not to affect the pulse.
  • For 10 seconds count the number of beats you feel. Multiply this number by 6 to get your heart rate
  • For example if you counted 10 beats in the 10 seconds you would multiply 10×6=60 beats per minute
  • Never check both carotid arteries at once to prevent cutting off blood flow to the brain
  • When you are at rest your heart rate will be lower, when you start exercising your heart rate should increase since your heart has to pump more blood


Target heart rate

  • Take 220-your age to get your max heart rate
    • Multiply your max heart rate by 0.5 to get your heart rate for 50% or low intensity exercise
    • Multiply your max heart rate by 0.7 to get your heart rate for 70% intensity or moderate intensity exercise
    • Multiple your max heart rate by 0.85 to get your heart rate for 85% intensity or vigorous intensity exercise
  • Start with low intensity and progress yourself to more vigorous intensity exercise

From American Heart Association

AgeTarget HR Zone 50-85%Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years100-170 beats per minute200 beats per minute
30 years95-162 beats per minute190 beats per minute
35 years93-157 beats per minute185 beats per minute
40 years90-153 beats per minute180 beats per minute
45 years88-149 beats per minute175 beats per minute
50 years85-145 beats per minute170 beats per minute
55 years83-140 beats per minute165 beats per minute
60 years80-136 beats per minute160 beats per minute
65 years78-132 beats per minute155 beats per minute
70 years75-128 beats per minute150 beats per minute

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