Target Heart Rate Calculator

How to calculate my heart rate?

Target heart rate formula:

TargetHR = RestingHR + A * Reserve

  • “TargetHR” stands for target heart rate;
  • “A” stands for the percentage of heart-rate reserve you use up;
  • “Reserve” stands for heart rate reserve, calculated as Reserve = MaxHR – RestingHR;
  • “MaxHR” is the maximum heart rate, found as MaxHR = 220 – Age;
  • Age is your age (in years).

Target Heart Rate definition

A target heart rate provides personal guidelines to ensure you’re making the most of your time running, walking or performing other kinds of exercise without going overboard. That’s why it’s considered the “sweet spot,” where you’re exercising at the best level for you. It’s challenging enough, but not too strenuous leading to greater health benefits.


Your target heart rate is typically defined as a percentage (generally from 50-85%) and can be found with some basic math. The equation looks like this: 220 minus your age, multiplied by your percentage of exertion. For example, a 50-year-old’s maximum heart rate is 170 BPM. A health professional or workout program often prescribes what percentage of exertion an individual should exercise in. If a personal trainer recommends 50% as the low end of their target heart rate and 85% as the high, then their target heart rate of that 50-year-old between 85-145 BPM.


You probably aren’t going to stop and measure your pulse with your fingers in between jogging on the treadmill. Most cardio equipment in a gym has a built-in device to measure your heart rate by placing your hands on something. If you aren’t using that kind of equipment, you can use a heart rate monitor to measure, and even calculate your target heart rate for you.


Target heart rate for cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio, focuses on increasing your heart rate and level of exertion to burn more calories and maybe even have fun. When you shift from a walk to a run, your heart rate increases to pump oxygenated blood full of nutrients that keep your body going. Calculating your heart rate at a running pace can be a good reference for how hard you’re working.


The equation used in the above description is the same way to determine your target heart rate for cardio. Typically, it’s recommended to exert yourself at 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This number can be fine-tuned into a smaller gap by a health professional, depending on your training level and goals. By knowing your numbers and using a device to measure your heart rate while exercising, you will be informed on when to pick up the pace or tone it down.


Other factors that can influence a person’s heart rate are air temperature, age, medication use, fitness level, or stress. It’s important to know that this is just a guide and your maximum heart rate may vary by 15-20 BPM in either direction.


Have a look at this table below as a general reference for your target heart rate range while running.


Age (years) Target heart rate (bpm) Max heart rate (bpm)



Be careful not to take your heart rate above your maximum for a long period, especially if you are new to exercise. If you do, there’s increased risk of chest pain and discomfort. Feeling dizzy or light-headed is an alarm signal to stop exercising and rest.