What Is a Good Exercise Heart Rate?

The easiest way to figure your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. Once you know this number, you can determine a good heart rate for your next exercise session.

A woman using a smartphone to time her pulse after a work-out.
Credit: michaelpuche/iStock/Getty Images

Moderate-Intensity Zone

Use heart rate to evaluate whether you are working at an adequate intensity during aerobic activity. For a moderate-intensity workout, aim for a heart rate that is between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

For example, if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is about 180 beats per minute. Your moderate-intensity zone is thus between 90 and 126 beats per minute. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you fit in at least 150 minutes of activity in this zone every week.

Vigorous Intensity

A vigorous-intensity heart rate zone is between 70 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. For the 40-year-old example, aim for between 126 and 153 beats per minute. With 75 minutes per week at this intensity level, you meet the CDC's exercise recommendations for health.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.