What Is a Safe Upper Limit for Heart Rate During Exercise? | Exercise.com

What Is a Safe Upper Limit for Heart Rate During Exercise?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Your safe heart rate depends on your age, as well as the rate of your resting heart rate.
  • If you want a general idea of what your maximum exercise heart rate should be, then take 220 and subtract your age.
  • Studies show that a resting heart rate of over 84 may be dangerous.

Determining a safe upper limit for heart rate during exercise is specific to every individual person. That is because your safe heart rate depends on your age, as well as the rate of your resting heart rate. The best way to strengthen your heart is with regular exercise. Sign up for an Exercise.com PRO account today to gain access to workout plans, workout plan builders, and more!

How Do I Calculate My Maximum Heart Rate?

That is why it is easier to say that a safe upper limit is 60% to 90% of your maximum heart rate rather than us trying to provide you with a specific number. If you want a general idea of what your maximum exercise heart rate should be, then you take 220 and subtract your age.

That is the maximum rate your heart should beat while exercising. If you are exceeding that amount, then you are working too hard and need to back off until your rate is 60% to 90% of that level.

When it comes to exercising, you want your heart rate to go up. The goal is not to keep your heart rate down, something that many people don’t understand. You want your resting heart rate to be low, not your exercising heart rate.

You really want your heart rate to be elevated and if you aren’t achieving an increase of at least 50% of your maximum heart rate, then you aren’t benefiting like you should from your exercises.

As you get into better shape, you want to try to achieve 90% of your maximum heart rate to get the most benefit from your exercises.

What If My Resting Heart Rate Is High; Does the Same Formula Still Apply?

Even if your resting heart rate is higher, say 90 beats per minute, the same formula still applies to you. What this means, however, is that you have less room to move in terms of reaching your maximum safe heart rate.

Studies show that a resting heart rate of over 84 may be dangerous and having a medical exam is important to ensure that you don’t have any underlying issues causing the accelerated rate.

If you have had a higher heart rate your entire life, then it is likely that you simply have a high heart rate, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and get a medical opinion.

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What Happens If I Go Over My 90% Heart Rate Goal When I Exercise?

One of the reasons that experts recommend that you see your doctor before you start any exercise program is so that you can determine just how much exercise you can do. It doesn’t matter how out of shape you are; you have to find exercises that are safe for you to participate in.

If your heart rate exceeds your 90% max, then you need to slow down. You don’t necessarily have to stop unless slowing down doesn’t help your heart rate to decrease. If you exceed your maximum heart rate, then you may need to seek medical attention, especially if you exceed it by large amounts.

As time goes on, you will find that as you get stronger it will take more work for you to get your heart rate to go up as high as you want it. That is the benefit of being a healthy person.

The good news is that, once you meet your weight loss or health goals, then you won’t have to worry about getting your maximum 90%. Instead, you will simply want to work toward maintenance, which doesn’t require such intense exercise.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a heart monitor that you wear on your wrist so that you can keep track of your heart rate. This will ensure that you meet your goals and don’t exceed your maximum safe heart rate at the same time.

What Are the Best Exercises to Do If My Heart Rate Is Continually Accelerated?

Again, talking to your doctor is a good idea before you start any exercise program or workout plan, especially if you have an accelerated resting heart rate. If you are overweight and you simply have to lose weight for your health, then you may want to start with walking.

In addition, light weight lifting is an excellent way to get your muscles working again, which will aide in the fight to burn off fat faster. Don’t lift weights that are too heavy, as this will cause your heart rate to spike. Start low and build up, slow and steady will win the race for you!

This process can be frustrating for many people because it is definitely not the fastest way to lose weight or get into shape. However, once your heart is healthier and your body is stronger, you can do more intense workouts that will accelerate your weight loss and healthy body program.

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