Target heart rate is a range of upper and lower heart rate during exercise. It allows you to to know how hard to exercise to gain the most aerobic benefit from a workout.
Target heart rate is just a guide. Everyone is different, so pay attention to how you feel, how hard you are breathing, how fast your heart is beating, and how much you feel the exertion in your muscles.
Why monitor your heart rate?
When you exercise, your heart beats faster to meet the demand for more blood and oxygen by the muscles of the body. The more intense the activity, the faster your heart will beat. Therefore, monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be an excellent way to monitor exercise intensity.
Benefits of Regular exercise
-Lowers your resting heart rate
-Makes the heart more efficient
-Strengthens the heart
-Helps you recover faster
-Protects your health. As your heart gets stronger, it reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol.
What is maximum heart rate?
The maximum heart rate is the highest your pulse rate can get. To calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, use this formula:
220 – Your Age = Predicted Maximum Heart Rate
Example: a 50-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 170.
Be aware that some medicines and medical conditions might affect your maximum heart rate. If you are taking medicines or have a medical condition (like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes), always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate/target heart rate will be affected. If so, your heart rate ranges for exercise should be prescribed by your doctor or an exercise specialist.
Monitoring your heart rate during exercise not only helps you maximize your workout but may also serve as a warning if you are overexerting yourself.
Target heart rate zone
This is the number of beats per minute (bpm) at which your heart should be beating during aerobic exercise. For most healthy individuals, this range is 50 to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate. So, if your maximal heart rate is 180 bpm, the low end of the range (50 percent) would be 90 bpm, and the high end of the range (80 percent) would be 144 bpm.
The table below shows estimated target heart rates for different ages. Look for the age category closest to yours, then read across to find your target heart rate.
If you are just beginning an aerobic program you should probably aim for the low end of the zone and pick up the intensity as you become more comfortable with your workouts. For those of you who are more fit, or are training for competitive events, you may want to aim for the higher end of the zone.
Remember, your estimated target heart-rate zone is just that — an estimate. If you feel like you are exercising too hard, you probably are. The best advice is to reduce your intensity and find a heart rate range that works for you.
Source: American Council on Exercise
You can make your heart stronger with some lifestyle changes like exercise and meditation.
How Much Exercise is Really Necessary?
You can get the heart benefits with about 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise, which translates to about 20 minutes a day most days of the week.