Target Heart Rate Formula

What is your target heart rate? Many people do not know what their target rate should be when exercising.

Knowing this information can help you get a great workout, burn more calories and minimize health risks when working out.

To calculate your heart rate zone, you must first determine your average maximum heart rate.

The maximum heart rate calculation is a basic calculation of 220 minus your age.

So,if you are 45 years old, your average maximum heart rate would be 220 – 45 = 175 beats per minute.

To calculate the target heart rate, or heart rate during exercise, you will be finding a range based on a percentage of your average maximum heart rate.

This range is between 50 to 85%,although this range of 50 - 85 varies on different websites.

So, for the same 45 year old with a max heart rate of 175, the zone would be 87 – 148 beats per minutes.

Of course, who wants to hold their wrist for a full 60 seconds to make sure they are within the targeted range, especially while running on the treadmill?

So,let’s break that down to just 10 seconds, which is known as your 10 second heart rate. This will be easier for you to manage while you are working out.

Simply divide your targeted heart rate by 6 to get a 10 second interval.In our example, the target heart rate zone for 10 seconds would be 14 – 24 beats per 10 seconds.


You can use this interactive target heart rate calculator to determine your range.

This will require JavaScript to be enabled in order to use the calculator.

If you do not have JavaScript enabled, then just use this heart rate chart.

Checking Your Heart Rate

To find your heart rate during exercise, part way through your exercise routine, slow down enough to take a ten second pulse check.
You can find your pulse either on the neck or on the inside of your wrist.

You will want to slow down so that you can focus on counting your pulse and watching the clock, but don't stop completely.

Find your pulse, find a 10 second interval on the clock and start counting.

Verify this is within your 10 second target heart rate zone.

Or if you don't want to take your pulse, a good of thumb is if you can say a few sentences, then you are probably okay.

But if you are out of breath and can’t say a few words, then bring it down a notch.


There are certain medications that can affect your heart rate zone, such as high blood pressure medication.

So, if you are on any medications, please check with your doctor first to find out what zone you should be using for your aerobic workouts.

You can also purchase a heart monitor to measure your heart rate as you exercise.

Here is a site that has a review of many different types of heart rate monitors to help you select the right one for you.

Additional Articles

Weight Loss Workout
Use these example weight loss workouts to exercise within you heart rate zone. There's one for beginners and one for intermediate level.

Benefits of Exercise
In addition to helping you lose weight and get fit, exercise has many health benefits. Read this article to learn more.

Warming Up Before Exercise
Before hopping on your treadmill or jogging around the block, warm up your body and muscles.