Regardless of which method you use, it's important to understand that target heart rates are only guidelines - they are estimates. Heart rate estimates are usually accurate for about 70% of the population. That's why you need to use good judgment about how the exercise feels and how your body is responding. Use common sense; if you're working in your target heart range and it feels ridiculously easy, then don't be afraid to increase the intensity. On the other hand, if it feels incredibly difficult, don't hesitate to decrease your intensity. After you've been working out for a while, you should start to develop a intuitive sense for how it feels to be in your target zone and you can use subjective measures of your intensity such as your rating of perceived exertion.
If you've been completely sedentary, if you're overweight or if you're in poor physical condition, you may need to start at an intensity level lower than your minimum target heart rate. Again, use your judgment, start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you become more fit until you're eventually in the ideal target zone.
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