Target Heart Rate

target heart rate

The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend that adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day.  For those wishing to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes, 30 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended three or four times per week.

You can use your heart rate as a guide to know whether or not your activity falls into the moderate or vigorous category.

For moderate activity, stick to the lower end of the target heart rate given.  For vigorous activity try to maintain activity at the upper end of the target heart rate given.

Measuring your heart rate

Using a Heart Rate Monitor while you exercise is simple and effective way to track your heart rate while exercising.  If you don’t have access to this technology, you can simply take your radial pulse is located on your inner wrist. To measure it, you should:

  • Put the first three fingers of one hand against the inner wrist of the other hand just below the thumb.
  • Lightly press your fingers into the hollow next to the tendon on the thumb-side – your artery lies just beneath the skin.
  • Using a watch with a second hand, count your pulse for 15 seconds. Multiply this figure by four to get your beats per minute. (For example, 31 pulse beats over 15 seconds equals a pulse rate of 124 beats per minute.)

You can also take your pulse by pressing your fingers lightly against one of your carotid arteries, located on either side of your windpipe.

If you have not previously participated in vigorous activity, have existing health concerns or are pregnant, please discuss any new exercise program with your doctor.