To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. This number represents how many times your heart should beat per minute at its maximum rate. Multiply that number by 0.6 and 0.85 to determine the range of heart rate to strive for. Healthy people can build up gradually to sustain this heart rate for 30 to 45 minutes at least 3 times a week to build aerobic fitness. The health benefits of exercise depend more on regular activity than on pace, intensity, and heart beat.
Review Date: 03/23/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.