# Learn Your Target Heart Rate to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Whether you run, bike, swim, or lift, knowing how to find your target heart rate can help you achieve maximum results. You might be asking: What is a resting heart rate? What's a maximum heart rate? Can this math help make the most of every workout? Knowing your heart rate cues can help you work smarter, instead of harder, and see results faster. But let's start with the basics: what does "heart rate" mean?

## Resting Heart Rate

Simply put, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in a minute. We spoke with chiropractor and certified strength and condition specialist Alex Tauber, who recommends this simple technique to find your resting heart rate. Before exercise, Alex says, to measure your resting heart rate, "put your index and middle finger on the notch right below the hinge of your jaw." When you feel the pulse, start counting for 30 seconds, and multiply the number you get by two to get the number of beats per minute, and that's your resting heart rate.

## Maximum Heart Rate Formula

The Mayo Clinic suggests using a simple mathematical formula to calculate it. Simply subtract your age from the number 220 to find your maximum heart rate. For example, if you're 30 years old, you subtract 30 from 220 to determine that 190 beats per minute is your maximum heart rate. You can only sustain your maximum heart rate for a few seconds before you collapse from exhaustion. If you have a medical condition and need a more specific number, a doctor or sports laboratory can perform a stress test to determine your maximum and target heart rates.

## Finding Your Target Heart Rate

When you're at rest during a workout session, your heart rate should be low, you feel comfortable, breathing comes easily, and you can handle a conversation with your workout buddy. As your intensity increases, your heart rate rises, breathing becomes more difficult, and you may only be able to utter a word or two at a time. Somewhere between your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate is the gold standard for exercise.