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What Is an Exercise Heart Rate Chart?

Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.
People who are concerned with finding a healthy heart rate should consult with a medical professional.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2014
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An exercise heart rate chart is a document that indicates target heart rate zones for people depending on their ages. Heart rate is measured in the number of heart beats that occur per minute and is sometimes notated as BPM, which stands for "beats per minute." Each exercise heart rate chart is slightly different in terms of the heart rate zone or zones that it indicates. Some charts only show one particular target zone while others show a number of zones that can be targeted for different kinds of exercise and different kinds of fitness levels.

One exercise heart rate chart might indicate three zones, including a fat-burning zone, an aerobic zone, and a cardiovascular zone, with the fat-burning zone targeting a lower heart with the cardiovascular zone targeting the highest of the three heart rate ranges. According to this kind of exercise chart, the fat-burning heart rate zone for a person at the age of 30 would be between about 130 heart beats per minute and 140 heart beats per minute. The aerobic zone on this kind of exercise heart rate chart for a person of the same age would indicate a range of 140 hear beats per minute to about 170 heart beats per minute. The cardiovascular zone for a 30-year-old would range from about 175 heart beats per minute to 200 heart beats per minute.

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Another kind of exercise hart rate chart, however, might include more zones or differentiate between upper and lower ends of one of the zones described above. It is common for an exercise heart rate chart to be present on exercise equipment and in fitness centers, usually with zones and ranges that are meant to target the population using either the equipment or the facility.

It is important to remember that everyone's personal fitness level is different and that the information on an exercise heart rate chart is meant to be used only as an approximation. People who are concerned with finding a healthy heart rate target zone to achieve during exercise should consult with a medical professional. This is especially true for people who have heart conditions, a family history of heart conditions, or who have been in fragile health in the past. In some cases, the information on an exercise heart rate chart might not be applicable, even to people who fall within the age ranges on the chart.

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