Target Heart Rate: What Is The Best Cardio For You? Featured Image

Target Heart Rate: What Is The Best Cardio For You?

If you are serious about your fitness and you work out regularly, you probably already know what your target heart rate (THR) is. If you don’t know, your THR is the rate of heart beats per minute you should aim for during aerobic exercise. This allows your heart and lungs as well as your body in general to get the most out of your workout. There are a couple of theories behind THR and how an individual should calculate theirs. However, there are some base guidelines which can help you determine what your THR should be:


Age THR – Beats Per Minute
20 – 29 100 – 170
30 – 34 95 – 162
35 – 39 93 – 157
40 – 44 90 – 153
45 – 49 88 – 149
50 – 54 85 – 145
55 -59 83 – 140
60 – 64 80 – 136
65 – 69 78 – 132
70 + 75 -128


These guidelines are for healthy individuals. There are some medications that can alter these numbers and people with underlying health conditions may not be within the THR for their age bracket.


Target Heart Rate & Cardio Exercise

Cardio or aerobic exercises tend to be light to moderate exercises that a person can endure for a sustained period of time. Common cardio workouts include:


Cycling Elliptical Machine
Swimming Skiing
Stairclimbing Skating
Running Rowing
Jogging Kickboxing
Treadmill Skipping
Stationary Bike Walking


Depending on what your THR is and what appeals to you (sitting on a stationary bike isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time) your heart should benefit from doing one of these exercises on a regular basis. All of them are good and each comes with its own extra benefits. Once you have determined what your THR should be, you can pick an exercise that you believe will help you achieve your target heart rate. Here is some more info on some of the most popular cardio exercises:


Cycling: For many people, cycling is one of the most accessible exercises. Cycling tends to not require a person to take lessons; you just need to have access to a bike and somewhere to cycle it! Cycling helps your cardio fitness by causing the heart to beat in a steady and regular rhythm. Research also shows that cycling 20 miles a week reduces the risk of developing heart disease by 50%. If you want to add cycling to your cardio work out, start slowly and gradually build up your speed and stamina. And make sure to wear a helmet and other safety gear. Unfortunately, if you suffer from any bone problems in your lower back or legs, cycling may not be the ideal cardio for you.

Swimming: Swimming is a great exercise for building up your heart and lung strength while simultaneously working out your upper and lower body. If you know how to swim, regardless of your skill level, your body will benefit from a few laps in the pool. As with most exercises, you will gradually build up your stamina and add more and more laps to your exercise plan as you go along. As swimming is not a weight-bearing exercise, it may benefit someone who is just starting back up their cardio plan after a bone or muscle injury.

Elliptical Machine: We promise you that a workout on an elliptical machine is not as awful as it looks! In fact, when compared to the treadmill, the elliptical is actually better for your cardio health. The elliptical machine is another great cardio exercise for people bouncing back from an injury or for someone who wants a low-impact exercise for their joints. If you are just starting to work towards achieving your THR, the elliptical is one of the best work outs to start with.

Kickboxing: Kickboxing combines cardio exercise with martial arts and boxing. The result of this mash-up is awesome for your heart. All the kicking and punching raises your heart beat rate and can get you well on your way to achieving your THR. While doing this you are also working out your arm and leg muscles. Kickboxing is a pretty flexible cardio work out which you can do at home or in a gym.

There are many, many more cardio exercises and combination of exercises you can start to help you achieve your THR and your optimal cardio health. If you want some help deciding what is best for you, come by BeFit and we can help you out!

Feeling better about your health or fitness shouldn’t be a chore. If you ever need some extra support, come by BEFIT to speak with one of our trainers or simply fill out a Free Consultation Request by clicking the link and a fitness professional will reach out to you within 24 hours.

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