Optimal exercise heart rate: There is no optimal exercise heart rate that can be determined in general. The right heart rate depends on many factors and needs to be adapted situationally.

Optimal exercise heart rate – different conditions and sports

The optimal exercise heart rate varies between each and everyone. Every person has different conditions that cause various heart rate ranges among the people. Factors for these differences are for instance the age (older people have lower heart rates), the weight, the genetic background, the intake of medications, the climate and many more. This makes it impossible to consider fixed heart rate tables when we work out. Here, we can just study our own body and check on the pulse at the different intensity levels. It is important to develop a good feeling for the rate of perceived exertion.

The optimal exercise heart rate also depends on the kind of sport we practise. A heart rate of for instance 140 beats per minute refers to different loads if we compare running and cycling. The metabolic stress level is much lower when we run and also causes a lower body’s own feeling for exertion. It is also difficult to keep a certain heart rate throughout the entire workout. Usually we run, cycle, etc. on profiled tracks going up- and downhill.

Optimal exercise heart rate – different intensities and objectives

Working out with a fixed heart rate (calculated heart rate with formulas) doesn’t allow us to change or adapt the intensity level. This could be necessary in accordance to our form on the day, the individual well-being, our body’s own feeling for exertion, etc. We furthermore wouldn’t be able to work out with a training partner. The same heart rate for both athletes would most likely result in different paces. This is not an issue for the workout on cardio machines at the gym.

The optimal exercise heart rate also depends on our individual training objectives. People who work out to socialize or for just being outside are already satisfied at low heart rates. People who work out in preparation for contests or to lose weight require higher intensities to reach their goals. Learn how to measure the heart rate.


All in all there is no such thing as the optimal exercise heart rate. Different conditions require different frequencies. A good approach is to listen to your body and to stick to the rate of perceived exertion. It is recommended to combine this rate with your determined maximum heart rate to steer the training intensity.

 

Optimal exercise heart rate

There is no such thing as the optimal exercise heart rate. Learn why!

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