# Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate

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1 Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate One way of monitoring physical activity intensity is to determine whether a person's pulse or heart rate is within the target zone during physical activity. For moderate-intensity physical activity, a person's target heart rate should be 50 to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on the person's age. An estimate of a person's maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person's age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). The 50% and 70% levels would be: 50% level: 170 x 0.50 = 85 bpm, and 70% level: 170 x 0.70 = 119 bpm Thus, moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 85 and 119 bpm during physical activity. For vigorous-intensity physical activity, a person's target heart rate should be 70 to 85% of his or her maximum heart rate. To calculate this range, follow the same formula as used above, except change "50 and 70%" to "70 and 85%". For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as years = 185 beats per minute (bpm). The 70% and 85% levels would be: 70% level: 185 x 0.70 = 130 bpm, and 85% level: 185 x 0.85 = 157 bpm Thus, vigorous-intensity physical activity for a 35-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 130 and 157 bpm during physical activity. Taking Your Heart Rate Generally, to determine whether you are exercising within the heart rate target zone, you must stop exercising briefly to take your pulse. You can take the pulse at the neck, the wrist, or the chest. We recommend the wrist. You can feel the radial pulse on the artery of the wrist in line with the thumb. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers over the artery and press lightly. Do not use the thumb. Take a full 60-second count of the heartbeats, or take for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. Start the count on a beat, which is counted as "zero." If this number falls between 85 and 119 bpm in the case of the 50-year-old person, he or she is active within the target range for moderate-intensity activity. Adapted from

2 Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight On This Page Why is physical activity important? How much physical activity do I need? How many calories are used in typical activities? Why is physical activity important? Regular physical activity is important for good health, and it's especially important if you're trying to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. When losing weight, more physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses for energy or "burns off." The burning of calories through physical activity, combined with reducing the number of calories you eat, creates a "calorie deficit" that results in weight loss. Most weight loss occurs because of decreased caloric intake. However, evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity. Most importantly, physical activity reduces risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes beyond that produced by weight reduction alone. Physical activity also helps to Maintain weight. Reduce high blood pressure. Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer. Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability. Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls. Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

3 How much physical activity do I need? When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. Here are some guidelines to follow: To maintain your weight: Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time. However, the exact amount of physical activity needed to do this is not clear since it varies greatly from person to person. It's possible that you may need to do more than the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to maintain your weight. To lose weight and keep it off: You will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you're eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan. What do moderate- and vigorous-intensity mean? Moderate: While performing the physical activity, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation it's probably moderately intense. Examples include Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile). Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower). Light snow shoveling. Actively playing with children. Biking at a casual pace.

4 Vigorous: Your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it's probably vigorously intense. Examples include Jogging/running. Swimming laps. Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace. Cross-country skiing. Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer). Jumping rope. How many calories are used in typical activities? The following table shows calories used in common physical activities at both moderate and vigorous levels. Calories Used per Hour in Common Physical Activities Moderate Physical Activity Approximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 154 lb Person 1 Approximate Calories/Hr for a 154 lb Person 1 Hiking Light gardening/yard work Dancing Golf (walking and carrying clubs) Bicycling (<10 mph) Walking (3.5 mph) Weight lifting (general light workout)

5 Stretching Vigorous Physical Activity Approximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 154 lb Person 1 Approximate Calories/Hr for a 154 lb Person 1 Running/jogging (5 mph) Bicycling (>10 mph) Swimming (slow freestyle laps) Aerobics Walking (4.5 mph) Heavy yard work (chopping wood) Weight lifting (vigorous effort) Basketball (vigorous) Calories burned per hour will be higher for persons who weigh more than 154 lbs (70 kg) and lower for persons who weigh less. Source: Adapted from Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, page 16, Table 4. To help estimate the intensity of your physical activity, see Physical Activity for Everyone: Measuring Physical Activity Intensity. Want to learn more? Getting Started with Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight If you've not been physically active in a while, you may be wondering how to get started again. Lace up those sneakers and find some motivating ideas. For general Physical Activity information, see Physical Activity for Everyone.

8 Retirement years Jump rope, do calisthenics, ride a stationary bicycle, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping. Try to exercise when the kids are not around (e.g., during school hours or their nap time). Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less. Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren. Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners. Learn a new skill you've always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming. Now that you have the time, make regular physical activity a part of every day. Go for a walk every morning or every evening before dinner. Treat yourself to an exercycle and ride every day while reading a favorite book or magazine. Content in the "Personal Barriers" section was taken from Promoting Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action (USDHHS, 1999).

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