Exercising within your target heart rate (THR) is an important part of reaching your fitness goals. This also ensures that you’re putting the right amount of stress on your heart for proper fitness gains. It’s recommended that your target heart rate number should be 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. So what should your maximum heart rate be and what does it mean?

For a normal, healthy adult, your maximum heart rate should be approximately 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus your age. Let’s take a 45 year old woman, for example. Her maximum heart rate should be 220 bpm – 45, which equals a maximum heart rate of 175 bpm. From there, her target heart rate during exercise should be 50-85% of 175 beats per minute (ranging from 87.5 bpm – 148 bpm)

What does this all mean for you?

As you’re exercising, if you get above the 85% guideline, you’re exercising too vigorously for your heart. This can put you at risk for cardiac events such as a heart attack. Exercising above your target heart rate can also put you at risk for musculoskeletal injuries and sore or torn muscles. Staying within your target heart rate optimizes your workouts without putting your health at risk. As you exercise, remember these important THR and maximum heart rate guidelines to ensure your safety.

It is always a good idea to consult your Physical Therapist or physician prior to beginning an exercise regimen to ensure your body is ready to handle the exercise routine you plan to commence. If you overexert yourself during exercise and are experiencing pain, it’s time to make an appointment a Physical Therapist at RPT. Our Physical Therapists will be able to diagnose the pain you’re experiencing and create a plan to get you feeling better. They’ll give you some helpful tools and tips to get you back to your exercise regimen without causing further injury.