An average resting heart rate is 72 beats per minute. Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by 220 – Age = maximum h heart rate. In your dad’s case, this approximately calculates 220 – 71 = 149 beats per minute. Target heart rate is usually 65% to 85% of your maximal heart rate, and this ranges from 96 to 126, if his age is approximately 71 years. Because your dad is 71 years of age, he will almost certainly have some degree of coronary artery disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries) which usually occurs as part of the aging process. If he has a medical history of angina, I would not aim to reach target heart rates, I would advise gentle exercise only. If he experiences symptoms of angina, he should stop exercising and rest until the chest pain disappears. He may require referral to a cardiologist for an angiogram (dye test to show the coronary artery anatomy), if he has a significantly limited exercise tolerance level.
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