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Target heart rate

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  • Target heart rate (THR), or training heart rate, is a desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise at which the heart is being exercised but not overworked. This theoretical range varies from person to person and is based on one's fitness level, age and physical condition. The THR can be calculated by using a range of 50-85% intensity.
  • Calculating the target heart rate requires knowing one's maximum heart rate (HRmax). This number may be calculated by subtracting one's age in years from the number 220. So, according to this equation, a 39 year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 181.
  • There is consensus that, in order to promote general health, at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity should be performed, three or more days per week. This consensus is based on various studies from the World Health Organization, American Heart Association, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.
  • Sedentary people and those with low physical fitness levels may benefit from 30 minutes of moderate activity, three days per week. To obtain increased benefits, those with better conditions should exercise longer and/or at a higher intensity (e.g. 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity, five or more days per week).
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Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.