Calculating your target heart rate


Q: I have a low resting heart rate 35-40. However when I exercise, when I am running and my heart rate is 170, it doesn't feel like I'm out of breath and I can still hold a conversation. I know 170 is too high for me to be running at but I don't feel any pain or have any problems. My recovery rate is good as well. I'm 32 with a 6 month old at home. I normally run, rock climb and bike but I haven't had the chance to do any of these activities in over a year due to a herniated disc. Should I get my heart tested?


A:   Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by 220 – Age = maximum heart rate. In your case, this approximately calculates 220 – 30 = 190. Your target heart rate is usually 65% to 85% of your maximal heart rate, and this ranges from 124 to 162 if your age is approximately 30 years. If your heart rate is measuring 170 while you are running and you do not experience any problems or adverse effects and you are able to converse normally, while exerting at this level, I don’t believe any further heart function testing is required.

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