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Heart Rate and Exercise Recommendations

What should my heart rate be during exercise?

Before determining your heart rate during exercise, you need to determine your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate refers to the recommended maximum number of heart beats per minute during exercise. A general equation for calculating your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. See the table below for heart rate averages based upon age. These can be used as a general guide.

Source: American Heart Association

Once you determine your maximum heart rate, you can determine what your heart rate should be based on your exercise intensity. If you’re doing moderate intensity exercise, your heart rate should be between 50% and 70% of your maximum heart rate. If you’re doing vigorous exercise, your heart rate should be between 70% and 85% of your max heart rate. If you’re just starting out, aim for the lower range of your target zone (50 percent) and gradually build up. For maximum benefits, include both moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity in your routine along with strengthening and stretching exercises.

How Much Exercise Should I Be Doing Per Week?

Although exercise amount, intensity, and type vary depending on your goals, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. For general health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health recommends:

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, or a combination of both.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.


If you want to see significant change (i.e. weight loss, increased strength, changes in body shape), you need more than 150 minutes of activity per week. The U.S. Department of Health recommends:

  • At least 300 minutes (5 hours) of physical activity per week.
  • Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity

Something else to keep in mind is that there are many other benefits of exercise other than weight loss and looking good in a bathing suit. You may not be able to see these benefits, but they are much more important than the number on the scale.

Benefits Include:

  • Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy
  • Better bone health and balance, with less risk of injury from falls
  • Better sleep, including improvements in insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea
  • Improved cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed
  • Less weight gain, obesity, and related chronic health conditions
  • Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Better quality of life and sense of overall well-being

Not sure how to get started? Set up a FitStart with one of our Club Ambassadors. We’d love to help you! jacquiem@clublamaison.com natek@clublamaison.com 


American Heart Association. Target Heart Rates Chart. Heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Health.gov. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans | health.gov