The myDr Target Heart Rate Calculator uses your age to work out your maximum heart rate. Based on that figure, the calculator then works out the minimum and maximum heart rates you should stay between while taking exercise.
How to use target heart rate
Target heart rates are used as a tool to measure exercise intensity. Research has shown that if you exercise while keeping your heart rate (measured by your pulse) in your target range, you will be more effective at improving aerobic fitness. People who do little or no exercise and who are just getting started should initially aim to exercise at the lower end of the range - about 60 per cent of their maximum heart rate - until they get conditioned. As a general rule, the intensity of the exercise you are doing should not prevent you from talking, but should prevent you from singing.
How is target heart rate calculated?
Target heart rates are calculated as a percentage of maximum heart rate (MHR). Maximum heart rate is an estimate of how fast your heart is beating when you are at maximum effort when exercising. Your maximum heart rate (MHR) is calculated by 220 minus your age, e.g. if you are 40, your maximum heart rate is 220-40 = 180 beats per minute. Note that MHR is just a guide - your actual MHR may vary from the calculation by as much as 15-20 bpm. The suggested range for your target heart rate in the calculator above is between 60% and 80% of your MHR.
Who should not use this tool
The myDr Heart Rate Calculator uses international population averages to work out maximum heart rates. If you have had heart problems, take some blood pressure medicines (anti-hypertensives), or heart-slowing medicines, are elderly or have special weight, health or exercise requirements, you should talk to a certified fitness professional or your doctor about your target heart rate for exercising.