How to Calculate Heart Rate Reserve

Heart rate reserve is a term used to describe the difference between your maximal heart rate and your resting heart rate. It can then be used to estimate your aerobic exercise training zone.

A woman taking her pulse. (Image: gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Estimate your maximal heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

Step 2

Determine your resting heart rate by placing your index and middle fingers over your radial or carotid pulse and counting the number of pulses in one minute.

Step 3

Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximal heart rate to determine your heart rate reserve.


The methods described give estimates. Contact a health or fitness professional for more accurate measurements.

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