What’s Your Target Heart Rate?
Last week, I posted about how hard you should be working during exercise. The quick answer is that you should still be able to maintain a conversation as you walk, jog, or bike. But if you want to track your progress in an exercise program and continue to improve your fitness level, you should really be focused on your target heart rate.
According to the American Heart Association, for the first few weeks of an exercise program, you should try to maintain your heart rate at about 50 percent of your maximum rate. Over time, you can work up to more like 75 percent (or 85 percent if you really want to push yourself, although working up to this level could take six months of regular exercise). So how many beats per minute is that? To find out, check out this handy chart from the AHA.