New Heart Rate Calculations

Do you know what your Target Heart Rate is supposed to be? Do you know how to calculate it? If you’re still using the 220 minus your age formula, stop using it!

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine say that formula yields numbers too high for women. They’ve come up with a new formula for just us rockin’ girls:

  1. Multiply your age by 0.88, then subtract that number from 206. That’s your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).
  2. To find your Target Heart Rate, multiply your MHR by 0.65 and 0.85. That’s your Target Heart Rate zone.

Example: 41 year-old woman

  1. 0.88 x 41 = 36.08
  2. 206 – 36.08 = 169.92
  3. 0.65 x 169.92 = 110.4
  4. 0.85 x 169.92 = 144.4

The Maximum Heart Rate for a 41 year-old woman is about 170 beats per minute, while the Target Heart Rate range is 110-144 beats per minute.


To find your heart rate, stop mid-exercise and count your pulse for 15 seconds (starting with zero) and then multiply by 4. If it’s too high, dial back the intensity a bit; if it’s too low, crank up the tunes and hit it a little harder.

It’s so important to work within your target heart rate zone so that you get the results you desire. If you’re not working out hard enough, then you’re not going to meet your health and wellness goals. Whether your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your muscle tone, or drop a few pounds, working out in the appropriate heart rate zone will get you to your goal much faster. Make it count!

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