Health Tools Target heart rate
Target heart rate calculator What’s a safe range for how fast your heart beats while exercising? Find out with this simple heart rate calculator. Learn more Understanding your results and recommended next steps Learn more Age is generally no barrier to physical activity. The National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior guidelines provide recommendations for what types and how much physical activity for children under 5 years old. Talk to your GP or maternal and child health professional if you have any questions about what’s most appropriate for your child. Age is generally no barrier to exercising. However, if you are over 80 years old, check with your doctor first before starting a new exercise regimen and check which activities are most suitable for you. Congratulations on reaching such a milestone! However, as only one person in the world is known to have lived over 120 years of age, we recommend you enter in a more valid numerical age. Using this tool

Enter your age and click ‘calculate’ to find out your maximum heart rate and your Target Heart Rate range for different levels of exercise intensity.

This calculator has been reviewed by Bupa health professionals and is based on reputable sources of medical research. It is not a diagnostic tool and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional medical or other professional health advice. If you are concerned or are at increased risk of heart disease, are pregnant, or have not been physically active for a while, please see your doctor for advice before embarking on any new exercise program.

Why is this important?

Aerobic exercise is when your body uses oxygen in a process that breaks down glucose and fat for energy to fuel physical activity. This kind of activity makes your heart and lungs work harder to get oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, and causes your heart rate to speed up. So it’s important to know the safe range – your target heart rate – for how fast your heart beats to help you get benefit from physical activity without overworking this vital muscle. 

The American Heart Association recommends people aim for a general target heart rate (THR) of:

  • 50-69% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) during moderate-intensity exercise
  • 70-85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) when exercising at vigorous intensity.

Your maximum heart rate is estimated by deducting your age from the number 220, and is expressed in beats per minute (bpm). 

You’re considered to be doing moderate-intensity activity when your heart rate is slightly increased and you’re breathing harder - as a guide, you can talk comfortably but probably won’t have enough breath to sing. When you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you likely find yourself ‘huffing and puffing’, and find it difficult to talk in full sentences.

How much activity do I need?

The Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines recommend everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day, for most days of the week, increasing up to at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity every day for children and young people aged 5-17.

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