You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. An example good use of your max heart rate is 30 seconds at 90 to 95 percent of your max, then 20 seconds at 65 percent of your max, then repeat, he says. The American Heart Association recommends exercising with a target heart rate of 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate for beginners, and for moderately intense exercise. However, continually exceeding your target heart rate may lead to overtraining. Target heart rate is generally expressed as a percentage (usually between 50 percent and 85 percent) of your maximum safe heart rate. Only how high is different. It just cannot be done! I'm no cardiologist but I have some experience here. Overtraining syndrome commonly occurs in athletes or fitness enthusiasts who are training beyond the body’s ability to recover. It’s fun to have numbers to look at after my runs, but beyond that I am unsure how to use it. 3. I am running around 20 miles a week, and recently bought a heart rate monitor. To figure out this range, follow the same formula used above, except change “64 and 76%” to “77 and 93%”. If your heart rate exceeds your 90% max, then you need to slow down. So for a 50-year-old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. For example, if you're 45 years old, subtract 45 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 175. For vigorous-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 77% and 93% 1, 2 of your maximum heart rate. To effectively improve your cardiovascular fitness you must exercise a minimum of three times a week, 30 minutes a day at 60 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is the average maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity it’s about 70-85% of maximum. Because heart attacks are caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle, regular exercise of a healthy heart is almost a sure preventive of a heart attack. Everyone has a maximum heart rate. You don’t necessarily have to stop unless slowing down doesn’t help your heart rate to decrease. For instance, at age 15, my son’s max heart rate is 205 and his cardio heart rate zone is 144 to 172 At age 52, my max heart rate is 168 and my cardio heart rate zone is 118 to 144. In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. When an individual is performing excessive amounts of exercise without proper rest and recovery, there may be some harmful side effects. “Work up to a minute. If you exceed your maximum heart rate, then you may need to seek medical attention, especially if you exceed … That article tells the tale of an Olympic rower who blew his max out of the water in the first 90 seconds of a test. 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