Target Heart Rate & Perceived Exertion

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Exercising correctly and consistently is a vital ingredient to living a healthier, fitter, more functional life.

The musclo-skeletal system requires increased oxygen during exercise.  The cardio-vascular system responses by increasing your heart rate. The additional blood flow from a stronger, faster heart beat supplies your muscles with large amounts of needed oxygen.

Aerobic exercise is defined as endurance or prolonged training. A perfect example is jogging. The muscles demand an increased amount of oxygen from the circulatory system for energy. Sustaining an increased heart rate during aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and builds endurance.

Anaerobic exercise is defined as strength training. An ideal example is sprinting. Your body relies on energy storage in the muscles during anaerobic activity. Throughout and immediately following anaerobic exercise the heart beats stronger and faster.

Execute aerobic exercise at three to five times weekly to build cardiovascular strength and stamina. After a thorough warm-up, train within your target heart rate for twenty to sixty minutes to achieve maximum benefits.

Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Your target heart rate for aerobic training is 50 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.

If you are 20 years old, your target heart rate is 100 to 160 beats per minute. 220 – 20 = 200. 200 x 0.5 = 100. 200 x 0.8 = 160.

If you are 50 years old, your target heart rate is 85 to 136 beats per minute. 220 – 50 =170. 170 x 0.5 = 85. 170 x 0.8 = 136.

Monitoring your heart beats per minute while training is easy. You can wear a heart rate monitor or you can assess your pulse at the carotid or radial sites. Take your pulse at regular intervals, ideally every five to six minutes, and adjust your training intensity accordingly.

Target heart rate is a gauge to help you build cardiovascular health and keep you safe while exercising. Combine the use of frequently checking your pulse to stay within your target heart rate and listening to your body while exercising for maximum benefit and safety.

Paying close attention to your body’s signal and how you feel during exercise is known as perceived exertion. This common sense approach allows you to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity.

Beginners and advanced trainees need to carefully monitor their heart rate and pay special attention to how their body responds while performing aerobic activity.

Perceived exertion and target heart rate monitoring are valuable tools to increase the productivity of your training. Consistent, efficient workouts build cardiovascular health and improve your overall health, fitness and functionality.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor of Championship Chiropractic located at 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117. Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC can be contacted at

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