Your max heart rate is an estimate of how many times your heart will beat per minute at maximum speed. Learn more about your max heart rate when running.
Exercising at or above your maximum heart rate may have inevitable health consequences. Certain diseases and medications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and medications to control blood pressure, can change your max heart rate. Talk to your GP before starting an exercise program that uses your heart rate as a guide.
Calculation of max heart rate
You can also determine your heart rate by calculating your maximum heart rate. An estimate of your max heart rate might be 220 minus age (220 age). Your exercise zone is usually 50 percent to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. Other formulas are available that take into account gender and age.
When you train too hard
If you exercise hard and get close to or reach your maximum heart rate, you will feel it. Your heart is working hard to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. The reduced oxygen level in your body can lead to the accumulation of lactic acid. Side effects of elevated lactic acid levels include muscle soreness, loss of strength, and limited range of motion.
Knowing when to stop
Exercising well above 85 percent of maximum heart rate is not recommended for long periods. You get no extra physiological benefits from exercising at this level, and it can pose a danger to your cardiovascular and orthopedic health. Stop exercising if you experience pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
Build aerobic endurance safe
Build aerobic fitness with moderate-intensity training for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week. Exercise with moderate intensity can include running, jogging, walking, roller skating, and water aerobics. You can achieve similar results with 20 to 60 minutes of intensive training, three days a week. Monitor your heart rate closely during more intense exercises like running, rock climbing, or cycling.