How to Target the Optimal Heart Rate for Cardio Exercise

optimal heart rate for exercise

The optimal heart rate for cardio is a picture of several numbers that show how fast your heart is when exercising. For those of you who like to exercise cardio and use a heart rate zone, then you can find out the right intensity and the best to get the desired goal. So how fast is your heart rate when you exercise? This article will help you track the heart rate zone for your age, and how to use it in cardio exercises.

How to Determine Your Optimum Heart Rate for Cardio.

All forms of cardiovascular fitness exercise will be increased heart rate higher. A high heart rate indicates that physical activity has a fast level, and this is a good form of someone during exercise. You can improve your cardio performance by tracking your heart rate and ensuring that you are in the right zone.

Some things based on age, level of activity, physical fitness, and medical conditions, greatly affect the condition of one’s heart rate during exercise or other activities. The number below shows the target heart rate zone by age. The way to track it is with a Maximum Heart Rate of around 220 minus your present age.

Find your target heart rate in your age category, then determine the target number when starting to exercise with activities that are around 50% of the maximum pulse. Then gradually go up to 85% on strong activity.

AgeTarget Heart Rate Zone (Beats Per Minute)Maximum Heart Rate 100%
20 years100-170 bpm200 bpm
30 years95-162 bpm190 bpm
35 years93-157 bpm185 bpm
40 years90-153 bpm180 bpm
45 years88-149 bpm175 bpm
50 years85-145 bpm170 bpm
55 years83-140 bpm165 bpm
60 years80-136 bpm160 bpm
65 years78-132 bpm155 bpm
70 years75-128 bpm150 bpm

Read more: Strong and Lean 4 Days a Week with Beachbody Lift 4

What are the 5 Heart Rate Zones?

1. Healthy (50-60% MHR).

In this comfort zone, your fat will be cut, blood pressure and cholesterol go down, etc.

2. Fitness (60-70% MHR).

In this zone, your workout will be a little more intense to gain muscle mass, strengthen the heart muscle. The calories burned at this level depend on the distance traveled, and your weight.

3. Aerobics (70-80% MHR).

It is time for you to practice endurance such as running or cycling that stimulates the body to increase the number and size of blood vessels, increase the size and strength of the heart.

4. Threshold (80-90% MHR).

You are only able to talk breathlessly and increase the amount of oxygen consumed. High carbohydrates will be burned as a source of calories along with lactic acid which will be produced as VO2 increases.

5. Red Zone (90-100% MHR).

You will burn a lot of calories in this red zone. Where you train hard in short bursts for a minute or two, then go down to low intensity for a few seconds, and return to the beginning to repeat. This needs to be underlined because this zone is only for those of you who are very healthy and fit. Also, do not overdo it because the effect could have caused an injury.

Optimal Heart Rate For Exercise.

To determine the optimal heart rate for cardio, press the veins on the wrist at the bottom of the thumb with your fingers counting to 10 seconds and then multiplying by six. You are said to reach the target if your heart rate is in the range of 50 to 85% of the maximum beat.

target heart rate for cardio workout
Optimum heart rate for cardio

But keep in mind, the heart rate indicated above is only as a guide, which functions as an encouragement to you to work better. So do not stick to the numbers, and don’t worry too much. Start moving by starting from a safe form. If you haven’t exercised much before, raise the level gradually only if you already feel comfortable and challenged.

If you feel uncomfortable with what you are doing, stop! Your body has parameters that indicate how hard you are working and sweating. That needs to be considered with your heart rate. With the right intensity of exercise, it can make your heart and respiratory endurance increase. Which is useful for achieving your health goals.

Besides the manual method, you can use a Heart Rate Calculator or a fitness tracker such as Fitbit or Lestcom which are good for use on the wrist, and they will monitor your heart to rate performance.

Target Heart Rate During Exercise.

target heart rate for cardio by age
Target heart rate in exercise

Find your age category then read your target heart rate. For moderate-intensity exercise, a good heart rate is around 50-70% of the maximum beats. As for heavy exercise activities, the heart rate is 70 to 85% of the maximum.

How Long Should You be in Peak Heart Rate?

Try to hold for 15 minutes or ideally about 35 minutes at your target heart rate during exercise. For beginners, start from 65% of the maximum pulse then you can increase the intensity. If you find it difficult, do it consistently and gradually because over time your strength will continue to increase.

What is a Healthy Resting BPM?

Heart rate for people who are fit ranges between 50 — 60% of their maximum total heart rate. This is a comfortable level to make exercise activities. Doing exercise at this level can help you trim the fat, and control blood pressure because the intensity is small. For those of you who are resting on a recovery day, walking quickly at a level higher than this point is the best way to keep your body active. For someone aged 20 years and over, a normal resting heart rate depends on the person’s physical condition. Usually in the range of 60 and 100 beats per minute.

Is It Better to Be in Cardio or Fat Burn Zone?

Burning fat at a lower intensity is not right. Doing exercise in fat burning zones does burn a lot of fat stored as an energy source but, it’s minimal. If you are in the cardio zone, even if you use less fat, the calorie-burning is far greater. This is because your body burns more glycogen and carbohydrates as an energy source. So, if many calories are burned then the weight loss is much greater.

target heart rate for exercise
Optimal heart rate for cardio fitness

When talking about the effects of afterburn or burning calories after exercising, it depends on the intensity of your workout. If your training is in the low zone, you will not feel afterburn. If your activity is high, we can be sure the body still feels the maximum calorie burning.

You can choose the HIIT training method to get high-intensity in burning calories. Which can be combined with the best cardio machine for weight loss.


The frequency, intensity, and duration greatly affect the effectiveness of the cardio exercise. By knowing the optimal heart rate for cardio, you will know the value of your intensity. The size of the heart rate when exercising varies greatly depending on several factors. Which generally must be in the range of 50 to 85% of the maximum beat when exercising. Stay in the ideal heart rate zone when exercising to get maximum fitness or for weight loss purposes. Discuss with your doctor if you have problems with heart conditions before entering the exercise program.

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