What You Need To Know About Your Target Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate

Your heart rate is an integral part of how your body functions, but can also be a way to tell if you are overexerting your body or not. Your heart rate or pulse has a standing level (the rate during normal activity) and a peak heart rate (when exercising full force.) Your suggested target heart rate (THR) is going to be about 64-76% of your peak level.


For those who want to exercise but are not sure of the right exercise regimen, we suggest seeking medical advice. Here at Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo, we are going to dive into what you need to know about your target heart rate. 

Understanding Your Target Heart Rate

Understanding your target heart rate is especially important for anyone engaging in cardiovascular exercise or striving to improve their overall fitness. Your target heart rate is a range that indicates the optimal intensity at which your heart should be working during exercise to achieve maximum benefits. It serves as a valuable guide, helping you tailor your workouts to suit your fitness goals, whether you’re aiming for weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, or enhanced endurance.

Tracking Your Target Heart Rate

Monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be done manually by checking your pulse at your wrist or neck or, more conveniently, with a heart rate monitor. Many fitness trackers and smartwatches come equipped with heart rate monitoring features, making it easy to keep track of your intensity levels in real-time.

Aerobic Versus Anaerobic Training

Aerobic and anaerobic training are two distinct types of exercise that target different energy systems in the body, leading to various physiological adaptations. Aerobic training, also known as cardiovascular or endurance training, involves activities that use oxygen to meet the body’s energy demands. On the other hand, “anaerobic” in anaerobic training means “without oxygen.” It’s a heart rate between 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate. 

Calculating Your Target Heart Rate

The first step in determining your target heart rate is to identify your maximum heart rate (MHR). A common formula for estimating MHR is to subtract your age from 220. While this formula provides a general guideline, individual variations may exist, and more accurate assessments can be done through fitness testing. Once you have your MHR, you can determine your target heart rate zone, typically expressed as a percentage range of your MHR.

Age and Your Target Heart Rate

Factors like your age and health will also help you determine what your target heart rate levels should be. If, for some reason, your heart does not stay within a normal level, it is suggested that speaking with a heart specialist would be a great option. The American Heart Association has numerous charts and information to help you thoroughly understand overexertion and the ‘limits’ for your particular age group in regards to target heart rate.

Over-Training Can Affect Your Heart Rate

Many people over-train, which can cause damage to the body. Overtraining occurs when there is an imbalance between training and recovery, leading to excessive physical stress on the body. Overdoing it and pushing your body to the max during every workout can lead to dizziness, dehydration, fainting, chronic pain, and risk of infection (from compromising the immune system.) Everything is great – in moderation!


Contact Dr. Ciuffo Today

Exercise is a vital component of maintaining a healthy heart. By finding the right balance in your exercise routine, you can maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks. If you have more questions about striking the perfect balance between exercise and heart health, visit our website to make an appointment or call our office at (702) 333-7200 to speak with a team member. For additional information about our practice, please visit Nevada Heart and Vascular or University Medical Center

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery