Getting Older Affects Your Max Heart Rate (But That’s OK!)

Man running in cold weather wearing a Fitbit tracker.

The other day I went for a run with my son. We’re good training partners: If we raced a 5K today we’d finish within less than a minute of each other. I know that won’t be the case for long, but these days, when we head out on an easy run, our effort level is roughly the same for the same pace.

At that easy pace, however, his Fitbit tracker shows his heart rate hovering around 175 beats per minute, while mine stays in the low 130s. Even if I started sprinting all out up a hill I wouldn’t be able to raise my heart rate to the beats per minute that he hits as soon as he starts working hard. Lately, I max out in the high 160s.

Am I just in better shape than he is? Nope. It’s more likely due to the fact that I’m 52 years old and he’s 15.

How Age and Exercise Affect Your Max Heart Rate

The relationship between the heart and exercise has been studied for more than six decades and the research is clear: Max heart rate—the highest heart rate you can safely hit during exercise—decreases with age regardless of lifestyle or level of fitness.

Why the drop? The reasons aren’t completely known, but a 2013 University of Colorado Medical School study found that one reason could be slower electrical activity in the heart’s pacemaker cells. Basically, “your heart can’t beat as often,” says Roy Benson, running coach and co-author of Heart Rate Training.

However, a lower max heart rate may not necessarily affect your splits. “It’s not a foregone conclusion that a decrease in heart rate max means a decline in performance,” says Joe Friel, coach and author of Fast After 50 and The Triathlete’s Training Bible. “That’s a very common but unsupported view of athletes who are ill informed about the science behind heart rate. They assume a high heart rate means a high level of performance. Not true.”

Your Target Heart Rate is What Matters

One way you can compensate for a slower heart rate is to get and stay fit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week.

“When you go into serious training, you stretch the cardiac muscles,” says Benson. “That’s how you improve stroke volume.” And, according to the American Heart Association, when your stroke volume is higher—meaning your body can pump more blood with each heartbeat—the heart doesn’t have to beat as many times to deliver the same amount of blood to your muscles.

So how can you try to exercise at the right intensity? If you own a Fitbit Alta HRCharge 2, Blaze, or Surge and have your birthday logged in your profile, your tracker can help. Here’s how it works: Using the common formula of 220 minus your age, Fitbit will calculate your maximum heart rate and then create three target heart rate zones—fat burn (50 to 69 percent of your max heart rate), cardio (70 to 84 percent of your max hr), and peak (85 to 100 percent of your max heart rate)—based off that number. After exercising, you can click on the workout summary within your exercise tile to see how many minutes you logged in each zone.

These zones explain why my son and I can run together—at different heart rates—and feel like we’re expending the same amount of effort.

For instance, at age 15, my son’s max heart rate is 205 and his cardio heart rate zone is 144 to 172  

At age 52, my max heart rate is 168 and my cardio heart rate zone is 118 to 144.

When we run in our cardio zones our heart rates can be up to 54 beats apart at any given time yet the moderate-intensity effort feels the same.

If you’re like me and regularly run with people of different ages, keep this in mind: Your heart rate during exercise is unique to you and only tells you how hard you’re working, not how fit you are. “There is absolutely no reason to compare heart rates between two people,” says Friel. “Doing so tells us nothing about either person as far as fitness or performance is concerned. It’s like comparing shoes sizes to determine how fit someone is. There is little in the way of an absolute and direct relationship between the two.”

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    • It’s important to note that the 220 minus your age is VERY approximate and in my experience is usually WRONG.. There IS NO perfect heart rate for anybody at any age. Every person is different.

      Example: I am 44. My OBSERVED max heart rate is currently 194 (and has declined a few points over the years). But it has ALWAYS been much higher than the 220 – my age (44) = 178.

      My wife is even more extreme. Her AVERAGE heart rate is 181 for a 90 minute workout at threshold (which is usually 90% of max). And women are supposed to have lower max heart rates than men … and she’s older than me.

      To learn your own max, start observing it with a heart rate monitor. Do an hour long workout at threshold … and then push yourself hard in the last 10 minutes (like you are sprinting for the finish line). If you have been exercising regularly, it should be a good indicator. But if you are new to exercise, be aware that your body probably won’t even let you get to your true max until you have been conditioning for at least 6 weeks.

    • There isn’t one. Using 220 minus your age is a starting point but if you really want to know where your are at in terms of fitness take a VO2 test. Everyone is different as stated in the article above and your max HR is a moving target. As you train and become more fit your MAX HR will have also improved…especially if you are only 35. Many people have a MAX HR higher than 220 minus their age.

    • Very helpful I find that I do a lot more exercise and eat a lot more healthy

    • Mahmudul: 220-35 = 185 — that’s your “max” heart rate. 70 percent of that marks the start of the “cardio” zone, 129/130 beats/minute. 84% marks the end of the “cardio” zone: 155 beats/minute. There is no “perfect” heart rate/cardio heart rate.

      What we DO know in addition to what Jonathan said above is that as you get more fit, your heart does more work/beat, so your resting heart rate drops.

      I let myself get out of shape last year, my resting heart rate was running in the low-mid 60’s. I started doing strength training 3x/week and cardio (intervals) 3x/week back in December and my resting heart rate is back down to 54-56 beats per minute depending on whether I drank Alcohol recently (if I did, the resting heart rate bumps up). Growing up playing soccer, etc. regularly my resting heart rate was in the high 40’s.

    • I am 70 years old and workout at my local Gym three times a week for 45 minutes per session. I wear a Blaze Fitbit. I do some Cardio and half sprints (before other weight carrying excercises) till my heart rate reaches the mid 150 beats per minute (usually about just over a minute of running or when my knees feel the pinch). Is this OK for my well being? I am usually breathing heavily by this stage but my heart rate comes down quickly to normal and my average resting heart rate is about 64 bpm. Do you think I should not let my heart rate go so high. Please advise as I would like another opinion.
      James Connor

    • Not so sure, however I run about 5k three times a week and have noticed my heart rate about 125_140. I am 55 years old and feel relatively fit, but have still some middle aged spread. Any tips.

    • 220-35 = maximum rate of 185 bpm.

      185 x 85% = Peak range of 157 to 185 bpm.

      185 x 70% = Cardio range of 129 to 156 bpm.

      185 x 50% = Fat burn range of 92 to 128 bpm.

    • You may think that you have some answers, but in my early 60s my goal was a 181 heart rate. I did feel It was my limit. I had a chest heart rate monitor. I will admit, that I have seldom seen people doing what I do. Another test, a little over a year ago, at age 75, I climbed 5 floors in under 25 second. I think it was about 92 steps. I am not fan of running, it hurts the joints. The trick, just keep pushing yourself to your limit, it increases the capacity of the heart and lungs. In spots it is called wind sprints.

  • Very helpful. Even more so since I’m a 52-year-old female runner and this confirms I’m in my cardio zone when I run.

  • Your personal max heart rate isn’t based on a formula, it’s based on testing. I am 56 – almost 57 – and my max heart rate as tested a week ago is 194. The 220 minus your age has never worked for me, so all the charts and advice based on this information does not work in my case.

    When I was 37 I had a cardiac event while riding my bike. I suddenly dropped 20 bpm (180 to 160 using a chest strap monitor) and felt pain in my chest. The Air Force said I needed to do a full stress test to determine if I had a treatable condition after monitoring by EKG for 4 hours and seeing nothing. At the stress test, I got to 186 bpm and the tech asked the doctor if he should stop the test. The doctor asked me “how do you feel?” – “I feel fine” – “OK, let him go he’s in good shape.” I got to 206 bpm and started to gray out in my peripheral vision. Keep in mind, at this time I could ride a stationary bike at 310 watts for a full hour. I was riding 200 miles a week covering 20 miles in 61 to 65 minutes on my bike. I was in very good shape.

    If you really want to know your maximum pulse, use a treadmill or stationary bike, warm up fully, and push the level up on a manual setting until you stabilize and can go no higher. Check your pulse preferably using a monitor, and sad to say, your Charge HR will not be reliable at this level of stress. I use chest strap monitors because they are closest to the 22 lead test I experienced in my stress test. Also keep in mind there is a peak number and a peak sustained number which will be lower. But just for giggles, I can show you my bike ride from last Sunday where I exceeded the 220 minus your age number for 3 continuous hours. It just doesn’t work for me.

  • If you have afib what is a safe heart rate during exercise ? I’m 62 and my heart rate goes up to 180 during rigorous exercise and I feel fine.

  • How does my fitbit interpret atrial fibrillation?? I am age 78 and exercise daily alternateing bike (12-15 miles) treadmill or elliptical 20-25 min including windsprint intervals. TRX for upper body twice a week.

  • John -thanks for this article! I too am a 52 year old man. I am certainly not an elite athlete but have worked out (strength training and running) for most of my life. My max HR has remained around 185 for the last 10-15 years. I keep waiting for it to drop but when really pushing it (I was doing a 4 mile interval run yesterday), it tends to clip 185 for a few seconds (15-45 sec.) before I back off.

    When I am in my cruise zone (say 9:45 a mile for 5 or 6 miles), I hang around 168. I know when I climb into the low 170’s, I am getting too high to maintain a stable pace.

    I’ve always felt like my zones seem too high for my age but your point is well taken. Everybody is unique and everyone’s HR zones are equally unique. I guess the best thing is 30 years on, I am still out there running!

  • I am 73. My jump rope time is down from 2 1/2 minutes to less than two. My pace has slowed from 8 minute to 12 minute miles since I was 69.

    I am resolving sleep apnea diagnosis.

    I have developed an irregular heartbeat. I showed higher blood pressure but believe that was temporary.

    What is going on with my heart?

  • You should really look into the 220-age formula, the science behind it is not good. The only reason to use it is to not be sued. I really wish fitbit would let me use my own custom zones based on my actual MHR as tested.

    • It does. In the app you can loads your own max heart rate. I’m 47 and have my max set at 195 as that is my max.

  • Thanks Jonathan,
    Do you have any instructions about using the Karvonen (or alternates) formula to set custom levels for our Fitbits?

  • Great article and one that has been top of mind for me for a few years. I’m 55 so my max heart rate should be 165. I average 6-miles a day running and have been doing so for a couple of year per your comments on conditioning. During my workouts my heart tracker tells me that I average 145-157 beats per minute or 85-95% of my max heart rate.

    That’s my average meaning I must be maxing out at points during the session. I don’t feel like I am over exerting. These aren’t high-intensity workouts. I feel like it’s the appropriate level of pushing my body to increase abilities. Yes, I’m soaked with sweat but my heart rate is back to normal and I’m able to move onto my next activity within minutes.

    Any research on risks with working out at peak daily at age 55+?

  • My max HR is 154 but I have had HR peaks of 170 on my Fitbit Charge 2 while working out . During that peak I wasn’t winded and my heart wasn’t racing. Does that mean I have a problem?

  • Wow! Awesome PR’s! I just started running again at age 56. You’re an inspiration. If I can do a half at the time you do a full, I’ll be happy! How many years have you been running? Since high school?

  • I am 64 years old and my BPM is often between 42 and 60 BPM while I am sitting or doing light duties around the house. It will bounce back and forth quite rapidly. Is this to slow?

  • Good read. Im 38, 6′, 300 pounds. In the last 18 months ive managed to lose 80 pounds thanks to my doctor for prescribing adipex and my better food choices. Since I’ve lost the weight, of course I feel amazing and so I joined Planet Fitness.

    Recently I’ve taken to liking the elliptical and the arc trainer. Both of which allow you to enter weight and age and calculate cardio zones. My max is 162, but many times I can either beat that or the machine is beeping to slow down when i do fatburn modes. Is there an advatage to doing the fatburn modes over cardio? To be more precise, if I do cardio, am I getting the benefit of the fatburn mode since I am surpasing that?

  • I don’t agree with using that formula and in reality the fitness of the person will determine MHR……..Tanaka did a study in 2001 and came up with the following formula (which still relies on age) MHR = 208 – 0.7(age). Another look at this by Gellish in 2007 showed good correlation to stress testing results using MHR = 207 – 0.7(age) with a p value of <0.001. One formula cannot fit all people of an age and can only be used as a rough guide! This is only my opinion of course

  • Great article Jonathan, I wasn’t aware of most of this and it’s now made me more likely to get out and lift my moderate to intense workouts to a level that might get me a bit fitter. Thanks,

  • That’s really interesting and informative. How does resting heart rate fit into this discussion, if at all? I also noticed this trend with my 14 yr old son, I noted that with respect to resting heart rates, his resting heart rate is way up in the 60’s early 70’s and mine in low 50’s, i play squash regularly and i am 44 yrs old.

  • Thx. I’m a 75 pretty fit woman @ 136 lbs and go to Orange Theory for my 2 x’s weekly workout. It is almost impossible for me to get into their target zone. I have been concerned even though I am really sweating afterwards. Now I understand better why I can’t get the numbers all those younger ones do.

  • Over the yearsI’ve read a lot about heart rate, this a good article and it when it speaks about max heart rate and fitness, its right on. I asked Troy Jacobson about 15 years ago what my high heart meant. he looked at me and said, you are working hard, nothing to do with fitness. He knew there is little relationship wbtween high heart rate and fitness. My max has not dropped much in 30 years. The Karvonen heart rate calculations is considered the best for measuring target training HR = resting HR + (0.6 [maximum HR -resting HR]).

  • Very interesting article. I have been trying to figure out what heart rate I should target. I’m 53 and according to the standard thought my cardio zone begins at 117 or there about. But I have an average resting heart rate of 50 due to a medication I am on. The cardiologist told me that 117 is probably too high for me, but he didn’t give me a target to shoot for.

  • I’m 78 and a half. I had the HR 2 but became overly concerned with the numbers so now wear an Alta. I know how I feel in regards to my heart rate and just how far to push myself. I can do 10,000 steps most days but my goal is 8,000. I meet my excersize goals 4 days a week and try to do 10 hrs a day at 250 steps. I feel strong and occasionally push myself to do more. If I wake with aches and pains I know they will go away with movement. I have two total knee replacements.
    My Alta keeps me honest.

  • Here’s something to keep your legs moving and working against a resistance while seated and typing. You can view the videos and user testimonials at the site. Using a high resistance and working my legs slowly, there is no problem or interference with typing at the same time. It’s patented (9 claims) but needs improvements to the working model before sales can be commenced. Comments welcome.

  • I have a charge hr does this check zones also had a pacemaker put in a year again to keep heart rate above 35 normal resting is 60 to 62 excercising goes to 128 to 135 also 68 years old

  • I’v always heard 220-age=max heart rate. Cardio begins at 80% of that number. Below that you are just burning calories. Please note: this is all hearsay and info taken from publications over time.

  • Hi,
    it is not only how max your hart beat, but how fast go down, or how much is your early morning rate. I am 66 and my max is 160, min 50. When I was sportsman (kayak) I have max. 180, min. 24.
    Max. 205 at 15 years seem to me too high.

  • I am a 60 year old fit woman. When I do my High Intensity Intervals, my heart rate gets up to 183 bpm but I feel great. It quickly drops to 135 during the recovery stage.

  • I am 74 years old I got a Fitbit blaze for Xmas I walk up hill every day 60 floors my max heart rate is 129 and my resting at nite is 47 to 51 .
    Since cristmas I walked 500 km.and feel good my low heart rate concerns me but I feel awesome

  • I had open heart surgery about a year ago. Just getting back on track went to therapy for about 6 months. And I’m finally starting to feel much better. And I do have a fitbit it’s great.

  • I am ADHD and work out to manage my heart rate towards staying steady or growing gradually in hyper states and returning rapidly to a relaxed pace. Is this way of thinking affected with this new research?

  • I’m 51 when I walked 80 minutes my heart ❤️ Rate 180 and I’m kinda scared then I am slowly walking!! It’s going down to 120
    For 80 minutes I walked 4 miles. Is that good? Do I walk fast enough?

  • Good article. I, 58 yrs, recently moved to a tropical climate. I cycle from home to a small village 20 km away with a backpack on my back. Last week i notice i spend 1 1/2 hour in the peak zone that day. This week i slowed down a little,cycled before sunrise and it improved my peak heart rate duration. In my blaze i also set the custom max heart rate and custom zone. Will keep monitoring during my activity. Heat also does increase the heart beat i have seen on several web sites. For that reason i ordered a carrier to put my backpack on so my back can contribute to the cooldown of my body.

  • Fitness enthusiasts should look up Dr George Sheehan (USA) & training regimes designed by Arthur Lydiard (NZ) both now deceased who were pioneers in the field of middle/long distance athletics training. Very readable for those interested in the background to what is about now.

  • My aerotic valve was replaced with a meatalic valve in the month of June 2016. My age is 66 years. My body weight is 75 kgs My height is 5′ 6″ inches. Ideally , what should be my maximum & minimum heart rate ? Will anybody explain ?

  • There are charts on heart rate by age in many gyms along with the common formula (220-age). Where do these numbers come from? Are there studies on this? I asked my cardiologist about this once and his response was that there was no supporting data. I like doing a type of interval training by heart rate rather than time but would like to know the science behind it if it exists.

  • What is the relationship between the advised moderate and vigorous intensities, and the fat burn, cardio, and peak
    Levels on my Fitbit? Does moderate equal fat burn, and cardio equal vigorous?

  • Jonathon at 70 years of age the formula of 220 less age in my case 150 comes up with low numbers for fat burn, cardio and peak numbers. Is there a need to re look at the formula for people my age?

  • My surge regularly reports my heart rate as much lower than it is. I’ve tried different write positions and tightnesses it’s almost always low. I’m 57 with an unusually high PHR (190). I’m wonder in my surge just isn’t believing my HR could be as high as it is and is assuming it’s a measurement error.

  • When I was 38 I was taking my `Master’s degree and did a max heart rate test in the fitness lab and I maxed out at 208. When I was 60 and teaching a spin class my max HR was 184. I was working very hard and when the class was done and later that night it went back to 52 BPM. I am 62 now and my resting HR is about 55. So how do you explain this?

  • Jonathan, great article. I had never thought about the fact that age has such a big impact on cardio and peak heart rate zones. Makes perfect sense not to compare heart rates of different aged people.

    • I am 70 years old. My resting heart rate is 41 to 45 beats per minute.My understanding is this is very good. It is probably because I teach exercise classes, HITTING type workouts and also teach martial arts. I think yours is ok, at least based on reading I have done at websites like the American Heart Association and others.

  • Hi, I have a Fitbit charger 2 and my max heartbeat stayed at 202 for a long duration when on the elliptical. My avg heartbeat was 153 bpm for the 25 minute duration. I am 47 year old female and my resting heartbeat states it’s at 69 bpm. So my question for you is 202 a bit high for my age?

  • The 220 – age is outdated for heart rate. I am a 50 yr old male and am comfortable running with my heart rate at 160-170 bpm. I max out at over 205 bpm. I have two different heart rate monitors and I get the same results with both, so it isn’t an inaccurate monitor. Your suggestions are good for beginners that are just starting out, but shouldn’t be followed as a strict guideline, especially if they are an outlier as I may be. I have discussed this with my doctor and was told to be thankful for such a healthy heart. BTW my resting HR is around 54 BPM. Thanks

  • What if I’m 47 and my 100% is calculated at 173, but I can peak at 187, and comfortably maintain 170? Is my heart having to work too hard, or is my max heart rate just high for my age? If it is high for my age is that good or bad?

  • I am 60 and can’t run like I did when I was young — too hard on the knees. I am a speed walker, however, and I have found that using an incline on a treadmill or walking in hilly areas gets my heart rate up and keeps it where it needs to be. I am a full-time teacher and part-time writer and editor, so I have to maximize my limited opportunities for exercise.

  • There isn’t one. Using 220 minus your age is a starting point but if you really want to know where your are at in terms of fitness take a VO2 test. Everyone is different as stated in the article above and your max HR is a moving target. As you train and become more fit your MAX HR will have also improved…especially if you are only 35. Many people have a MAX HR higher than 220 minus their age.

  • This is a perfect explanation for the difference between my 20 year old training partner daughter and her 65 year old mom. This has been a question of mine for a while. Thanks

  • Thanks for this article Johnathan. Very interesting. Like you, I am a 52 year old man. I am not an “elite” athlete by any means but am a very regular exerciser and have been for most of my life. I run 3-4 times a week and do strength training, core or body weight exercises 2-3 times.

    My Max HR has stayed around 185 for at least the last 15 years. It is still a mystery to me why it has not really dropped. 220-age+168. That’s my “steady pace” rate when I am in the middle of a 6-7 mile run! In fact, like your son, I am usually in the high 150’s/low 160’s within 5 min of starting my run.

    But my resting HR stays around 58 so I think it’s all good. I guess it’s like you said, “your heart rate while exercising is unique to you”.

    Oh yeah, my “P.S.” is when my father was 52, he suffered his first of two major heart attacks. The second, at 72, took him. I had cardiac calcification tests done at 40 and 51 and my score was 0.0 – clean. That’s what matters the most!

  • This morning I ran for 40 min at an easy pace (5Mi/h) on an empty stomach, to get my energy directly from fat. I thought I was in my fat burning zone, but it seems I was in the cardio (HB 130-138). I’m 45 and according to this, to be in the fat burn zone, I have to walk or run very slowly… Only hope I still got my energy from my fat.

  • I am wondering how often and for how long I should attempt to reach my peak heart rate. I have worn my Fitbit during hockey games and am surprised to see I only spend a few minutes at a the peak zone. I try to hit the peak a couple times a week during intervals on the elliptical but again it doesn’t add up to much.

  • Really? I am 67 and based on the information in this article my maximum heart rate is 153. I have been spinning for 10 years and hit over 170 bpm most days. Good thing my body didn’t know it was too old for that.

  • I am 64 and I have RHR of 88. I lift weights and do cardio (fast walk or elliptical for 30 min.) 4-5/X week, I teach Pilates, and I have a normal weight (5-7, 140#). When I do the elliptical with arm movement my HR is up to 160 but my recovery HR rate is excellent. I’m never out of breath even when I walk up four flights of stairs (and I’m not using the handrail to pull myself up). I’m caffeine free, and my bloodwork (including thyroid) is normal. I have no idea why my HR is high when based on my activity level and metabolic health is normal. Thoughts?

  • I am 79 years old and do brisk walking every morning. My heart rate goes upto 160, i.e.more than 141 which is 220-79. Am I straining my heart? Should I slow down?

  • My HR seems to jump up quickly and stay fairly high at a moderate level of activity. I’m 60 and getting back into exercising after an accident where I broke several ribs. Should my HR decrease after I exercise some more?

  • I am a 76 year old, sorry, young female and, after exercising on the Elliptical Trainer for about 20 minutes my heart beat sits between 140-150. Recovery is approx. 1 minute. I exercise 3-4 times a week for an hour so I hope that I am reasonably fit for my age. My question is: is my above heat rate too high when exercising, and am I at risk of putting too much pressure on my heart?

  • Interesting post. When you say “get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week” how does that translate to the fat-burning, cardio and peak zones tracked by Fitbit? Does “aerobic” equate to “peak”?

  • Great article, the infrmation provided will help me a lot as I get back into exercising. I’m 48 and was worried I was too old to take up jogging, but you proved I am wrong.

    Do you have any recommendations on how a total novice should approach this form of exercise? maybe another article for you to write. 🙂

  • I am an avid bicyclist, and 65 years old. I got a Charge 2 for Christmas this year, and I have been using it on my rides. My max heart rate on most rides is in the 160s, but I have seen max rates in the low 170s on my Fitbit several times, and once 185! I ride 3-5 times a week, and have apparently been doing this all along. The only difference is that now I know about it. According to the formula, my max should be 155. This only happens when climbing steep hills, and my resting rate is 54-56. Do I have the heart of a 35 year old, or am I in danger?

  • I am 4 months short of being 80 years old. I deliver flowers 3 or 4 days a week and on holidays 6 days in a row. I just received my Aha model and on work days I vary between 4000 and 7000 steps a day. On off days 2000. I purchased my fitbit to more easily keep track of my movements when/if I retire. I am in good health but my flat feet which I have had all my life keep me from running or jogging more than a short distance. If you have any suggestions for my activity I am interested in hearing them

  • A Canadian ,spending the winter in Portugal, at the age of 72 yrs I try to walk 20,000 steps three times per week and 12,000 steps every day. Last summer I did 8 marathons ( 5 KL) and had a wonderful time with all these like minded people. My challange is getting my heart rate up to 100!! Any suggestions?

  • Understanding max heart, heart rate reserve and target heart rate can be confusing. Those who were academically trained are most likely going to use the Karvonen method which is simply 220-age but including rest heart rate info. That being said, I found immediately that most trainers working in the field disregard the age aspect.
    On another note, even monitors can vary, I have a lower heart rate with my wrist band than I do with my chest strap as well.

  • Hi, I only participated in this conversation because I thought people were going to get help and advice. So far I don’t think anyone here has had any response to their questions. .???

  • I am 69 years old and have constant atrial fibrillation so there’s no way to accurately calculate my heart rate. I exercise regularly and the only caution my cardiologist gave was to not push myself to exhaustion. Is there any way to measure where I should be or when to cut back?

  • I suffer from POTS Syndrome, so just sitting I can 50-130s. Just standing up, I’m pretty much 120s-130s. Any idea how to tell what range I should be in? I will be 36 in May.

  • I'm sure the ever liberal BBC will refer to Br#niet&t39;s long standing relationship with the tenor, Peter Pears, present Britten as a martyr for being gay in an era when homosexuality was illegal blah blah, but completely ignore his less savoury proclivities which might show gays in a bad light.

  • I’m 61, during a hard hill climb while cycling I have no problem maintaining a HR of 175 with peaks of 185. During a 2 1/2 hour cycle today, over 170 for 68 minutes, and 155 to 170 for 53 minutes.

  • 220 minus your age. This was invented by the USA before the 2nd world war to assess unhealthy recruits. It was wrong then and is wrong now. I am 62 and my max heart rate is 182. I know pro athletes in their twenties with lower heart rates than that.

  • Am a52year old woman who had a heart rate of 183 during a half Marathon. Struggled to finish the last 4km. Why was that?

  • I’m 62. do 4.5 miles on machine, running, walking combo for an hour. get up to 170 bpm at times. is that OK?

  • Great article…. I’m 56 a PT and train hard every day doing hiit spin and weights. My resting HE is 43 and max 140…. age is a factor but high fitness levels contribute…. I get fed up with people commenting on my HR on the myzone screen in Gym… it’s MINE!! Butt out!!!! 🙂

  • I’m a 51 year old woman my resting heart rate is 65 bpm, I run 5k 3-4 days a week, my heart rate gets up as high as 182 and averages 174. I didn’t really think anything about it until I went a couple of forums that told me getting it up that high was dangerous and would damage my heart. Should I be worried? I’m usually able to maintain the higher rate for 5 or 6 minutes, I don’t feel any unusual discomfort when I do this. Should I be consulting my doctor?

  • Hi. I enjoyed your article. I am 50 years old. I swim regularly and enjoy sprinting 50 or a 100 yards in intervals. I measured my heart rate at the end of a an all-out hundred yard sprint yesterday and it was 180 + beats per minute. Is this dangerous for me?… Or hopefully good for me? I don’t want to damage the old ticker. But I do enjoy swimming as fast as I can.

  • I want to get into running..slowly. I read that an “easy” pace is important to prevent injury and that “easy” pace is based on heart rate. I’m wondering how this corresponds to Fitbit’s different heart rate zones. Is it the “fat burn” zone or “cardio” zone considered and “easy” pace?

  • Excellent article!
    My RHR is currently in low 40s (last month my Fitbit says 40) and It’s been in the upper 30s every now and then when I check my blood pressure. My max heart rate is in upper 140s. No matter how hard I bike I’ve never seen it hit 150.
    Should I be concerned seeing RHR in the 30s? I’m 61 and I’ve had lots of test done with no issues so far. I see a cardiologist on August 14th for follow up to a stress test which went good I think.
    Note: I started biking almost 2 years ago initially with a lot less intensity, but currently biking hard {average HR about 110) for about 30 miles which I do 4 times a week. My RHR was in the upper 50s about 4 years ago when I started just walking and lost about 80 pounds.

  • I am 72 yr old male. I have been running almost every day 5 to 8 kms.As seen on treadmill my HR reaches 166 even 170.Is it dangerous for me continue.I remain abs normal during the work out.can even sing without gasping for the advise.

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