A Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise is Essential to Fitness

There are a plethora of Heart rate monitors available for the fitness enthusiast and many types of devices now have this feature built into them. There are heart rate monitors that you put on your chest and there are fitness trackers that now have built in heart rate monitors. Either way, a healthy heart rate during exercise an essential aspect to fitness.

A good deal of fitness enthusiast understand the importance of a resting heart rate, but knowing this information while you are exercising does indeed have value. and in this article we will explore why it’s important to monitor your heart rate during exercise . We will also explore in detail the metrics you should be looking at and information on the importance of monitoring your heart rate during a good work out. But, this brings up another question.

What is a Normal Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise?

Since there are many factors that can influence our heart rate, there is no “real” normal heart rate during an exercise because we are all different. We cannot compare ours to others. That being said, however, there are target heart rate zones that you should try and achieve as you exercise based on the intensity of your workout. These target heart rate zones can be calculated from your maximum heart rate. What is my maximum heart rate you ask?

Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise

Well your maximum heart rate is calculated based on your age. Your maximum heart rate is it is approximately 220 minus your age. This is an important number because from it you can calculate what your heart rate should be during your work outs based on the intensity of those workouts. Since this is based on the intensity of your work out, the normal heart rate during exercise can be derived from your target heart rate zone, which is a range.

Here’s a great video on ideal heart rate while exercising:

How to Determine Your Target Heart Rate Zone

As mentioned before, your maximum heart rate is approximately 220 minus your age. As you work out you want to build up from moderate exercise to more intense exercise. This is the most effective way to get the benefits of whatever exercise you choose to do, whether that be running, swimming, lifting weights or general cardiovascular exercise.

Your target heart rate is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate during moderate exercise intensity and about 70-85% of your maximum heart rate during vigorous exercise activity. These are general numbers, of course, but they can indicate whether your exercise routine is effective enough for you to reach your fitness goals.

To get a goo visual of how this works and to save you from having to do the math, take a look at the table below to determine these important numbers:

Why is it Important to Monitor Your Heart Rate During Exercise

Why Knowing Your Target HR Zone Helpful During Exercise is Important

Many believe that if they exercise long enough and consistent enough they will automatically reach their fitness goals. Whether that be to lose weight or for maintaining overall general cardio vascular health. But, this isn’t always the case, Sure, it is better to be consistent with your workout routine, but longer does not necessarily mean better. It is the intensity of the exercise that matters most.

You need to be exercising at a level of intensity to reach maximum benefit. One person can peddle a stationary bike for over an hour while someone else can peddle like a mad man for 20 minutes and the shorter duration gets more value. In general, in order to fully work ones heart muscle or tap into fat burning mode, a person should sustain their heart rate in their ideal HR zone for at least 20 minutes. So, if you are looking to lose weight or have a specific fitness goal, you are better off making sure this level is reached.

Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise

Monitoring Your Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise is Easy

Another reason it’s Important to Monitor Your Heart Rate During Exercise is because it is very easy to do. It does not require a lot of extra effort or additional burden to your existing exercise routine. The reason for this is technology has allowed us to monitor our heart rate by simply utilizing a device such as a heart rate monitor.

There are several types of heart rate monitors but not all of them are designed to monitor the heart rate while exercising. For example, a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest may make it difficult to run or ride a bike. I believe the best types of devices are the ones that go on your wrist. A good fitness tracker or smartwatch would serve this purpose very well.

In fact, I have researched the best wrist heart rate monitors that you can read about and see if one of them is right for you.


As you can see a healthy heart rate during exercise is important to your exercise routine because you want to get the maximum benefit of your workout. Otherwise, you could either be working out too hard or not enough. I have found over the years that what you measure has the potential to improve something overall. This is true in many areas of life including health and fitness and overall well-being.

You can also see that measuring and monitoring your heart rate is not difficult and does not take any extra time or effort other than paying attention to your heart rate zone and your maximum heart rate. These are both great metrics and can be utilized to gain value and benefit from your routine exercise program. Of course, if you do not have an exercise routine or program, now is the best time to start one.

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8 thoughts on “A Healthy Heart Rate During Exercise is Essential to Fitness”

  1. Thank you, Ralph, for this article on exercise and heart rate.

    I used to wondered why age was used in the formula for calculating maximum heart rate. It almost gives the message that a person’s heart is bound to get weaker with age, regardless of what that person does to be healthy.

    Now, I’m starting to think the “experts” just pulled something out of the sky when it comes to age. Because, they then use a range, with a percentage attached. Now, how can one argue with a range?

    It’s only a suggestion, I suppose.

    What exercise routine would you recommend to a person who is physically unable to do vigorous exercises, but still wants to lose weight?

    • Thanks for your feedback Keish! These are all good points, so let me address each of them. The reference to this information is from the American Heart Association so I don’t think they just pulled something out of the sky, LOL.

      Yes, you cannot argue with a range, but it is the target heart rate zone that you are looking for, which is something you can improve upon based on this range you speak of. So, you improve this number by monitoring your heart rate during exercise to achieve better results. The metrics are a way of measuring these number so that you can optimize your workouts. I hope this helps.

      I would recommend working with bands and doing low to moderate work out in short duration’s. Resistant band are a great way to exercise, especially for those of us who cannot do vigorous workouts. 

  2. I was not aware of this. This is actually something that I was suppose to know as I love working out. I am in the gym 5 days a week so I really need to start doing my research. I will be sure to bookmark this article and get back to it whenever I feel like reading it. 

    • Thank you Daniel for your feedback and visiting my post about a healthy heart rate during exercise. I am glad to hear that you love working out and that you are taking action to on your fitness goals. It is very important to stay in shape, as you know it has a lot of benefits overall. Feel free to visit this site anytime you want. I will try and add as much value to it as possible. 

  3. Thank you for this informative article. I work out every day, and I go to the gym 4-6 times per week. My heart rate is always around 145 when I look at my Apple Watch. That’s fantastic for someone my age. I had no idea age mattered, so it’s a good thing it does. I’ll be sharing the article with those around me because I believe it will be beneficial to those I know who exercise.

  4. I’m glad I found this!  I just started a boot camp yesterday.  I have a smart watch and I was looking at my heart rate, it said 129.  I was worried that that was too high and though maybe I needed to slow it down a bit.  But I see now that I am perfectly good with that number and can go up even a bit more.  So now I know I can push my work outs even harder!

    • This is a good point you make Leahrae. By knowing how to measure a healthy heart rate during exercise allows you to know if you are working too hard or too little. Because you don’t know what you don’t know 🙂


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