Should Seniors Care about Target Heart Rate During Fitness?

You’ve likely heard the term target heart rate when it comes to fitness. But what does it mean, and is it of any value to the senior population? More specifically, should seniors care about target heart rate during fitness? Here’s what to understand.

Target Heart Rate

The most practical formula for finding one’s heart rate maximum is: 220 – your age = maximum heart rate

Understanding your max heart rate, or the number at which we would be able to perform physical work for a very window before our bodies became oxygen depleted, is key to understanding your target heart rate. That target range of general fitness is typically 65 to 86% percent of our max. With wearable tech, this is the number we’d plug into our devices to stay in the ideal fitness range. But it’s not quite that simple.

Understanding the Body’s Work Capacity

That 20% range isn’t permanent. As we train and grow fitter, the high end of that range decreases. In other words, our bodies become capable of performing the same effort of work that was once taxing at a lower heart rate. Now, if we’ve programmed that wearable tech with a number in that 65 to 85% range based on our max heart rate, it’s no longer useful.

For fit seniors who program their heart rate device to beep when they exceed that 85% capacity during cardio, they’re likely underestimated their abilities. The truth is that it takes regular monitoring and adjusting to stay current with our bodies’ work capacity. And while it may not be flashy, the most effective way to monitor how hard you’re working is simple. If it feels too easy, it probably is. If you think you can work harder, do it. That’s true for seniors, too, once they’ve been cleared by a physician to work out and have been consistently working out.

If that’s the first hurdle you need to clear, the certified trainers at Framework Personal Training here in Reno can help. We’ll work with you to create a personalized fitness program so you can enjoy the many benefits of fitness, and we’ll bring you up to speed on the value of understanding your target heart rate during your workouts. Call or email today, and let’s get started.

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