Knowing what your resting heart rate is, and what it should be can tell you a lot about your health – and maximize your training or accelerate weight loss. Factors including your age, medication, stress, anxiety, and activity level can affect your heart rate.
Most people have a normal resting heart rate of between 60 and 100 bpm (beats per minute); however, highly active people can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 bpm.
Resting Heart Rate
Keeping in mind the things that can affect your heart rate, to get the most accurate reading you should check your resting heart rate first thing in the morning. After a good night’s sleep and before you get moving, or eat or drink anything, check your heart rate – this is your resting heart rate.
To measure your heart rate, simply feel your pulse and count the number of times your heart beats in a 30-second period – then multiply that by two. You can also use a heart rate monitoring device such as a fitness tracker or pulse oximeter. The lower your heart rate, the better!
Target Heart Rate
Knowing your target heart rate will tell you when you’re getting the most bang for your buck! If you’re trying to lose weight or maximize your workout, you’ll know when you’ve reached your full potential when you hit your target rate.
You should also know when you are pushing it too hard. When you reach your maximum heart rate, take a breather for a minute. Pushing yourself too hard can have serious health consequences. These numbers are based on doing a vigorous activity – which is when you know you’ve hit the bullseye to reach your fitness goals.
Find the age closest to your age and shoot for these target heart rates without going over the maximum rate.
- 20 Years Old: 100 to 170 bpm (Max 200 bpm)
- 30 Years Old: 95 to 162 bpm (Max 190 bpm)
- 35 Years Old: 93 to 157 bpm (Max 185 bpm)
- 40 Years Old: 90 to 153 bpm (Max 180 bpm)
- 45 Years Old: 88 to 140 bpm (Max 175 bpm)
- 50 Years Old: 85 to 145 bpm (Max 170 bpm)
- 55 Years Old: 83 to 140 bpm (Max 164 bpm)
- 60 Years Old: 80 to 136 bpm (Max 160 bpm)
- 65 Years Old: 78 to 132 bpm (Max 155 bpm)
- 70+: 75 to 128 bpm (Max 150 bpm)
Keep in mind that these are averages based on when a person is doing vigorous activity. Your maximum heart rate should always be about 220 bpm minus your age to stay in a safe zone.
Hit somewhere in the target heart rate represented above and you’ll know you are working hard. If you’re just getting started with physical fitness, shoot for the lower end of your range and work yourself up.