Maximum heart rate helps estimate the target heart rate during exercise. This article provides information regarding the same.
Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. It varies from person to person. It is slow when you are at rest, and it increases when you are exercising. While exercising, the organs require more oxygenated blood, and therefore the heart has to work harder or faster to supply the required quantity of blood.
Maximum heart rate (MHR) is the maximum number of times your heart can contract (beat) in a minute, without getting harmed. However, the capacity of the heart is limited to a certain extent. If it works beyond its capacity, it can prove to be risky. Calculating the MHR is therefore essential, as it helps determine the appropriate target heart rate during exercise. Starting with 40-50% of your MHR, you can gradually increase your target heart rate and enjoy the health benefits of exercise. Staying within 50-60% of your MHR is considered as ‘exercising in healthy heart zone’. Exercising with 60-70% of your MHR means, you are working in the ‘fitness zone’.
The maximum heart rate can be calculated in several ways. You can actually note down your MHR by undergoing a stress test on a treadmill. According to the study reports, MHR on a treadmill can be 5 to 6 beats higher than on a bicycle ergometer. MHR calculated while swimming can be significantly lower than that calculated during treadmill running. Highly trained athletes and moderately trained individuals have a MHR 3 or 4 beats slower than a person, who leads a sedentary lifestyle. Studies also show that well-trained men or women who belong to the age group of 50 years and above, usually have a higher MHR than the estimated average MHR for their age. People affected by health-related problems should consult their physician and physical trainer for calculating the MHR and target heart rate for exercise. Since, the MHR mainly depends upon age, using the age-adjusted formula is the easiest way to calculate it. The age adjusted formulas are:
- MHR for women = 226 – age
- MHR for men = 220 – age
Maximum Heart Rate Chart for Men and Women
MHR of 50-85% during exercise is considered safe, depending upon your health and lifestyle. If your body is used to exercise, you can work with higher heart rate. Well trained athletes can exercise with 80-85% of MHR. Regular exercise helps maintain the heart health and thus, you can lead a happy, healthy, and active life.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.