Exercise Heart Rate Zones

October 27, 2022

Right Track by The Right Zones: What Zone is Right for Your Heart?

Nowadays, we believe that all of you are taking much better care of yourselves; whether that means having proper nutrition, avoiding foods that could make us sick or even exercising.

Speaking of exercise, today, I would like to discuss one type of heart rate-appropriate workout technique to help you achieve your goals more effectively.

This technique is called “Exercise Heart Rate Zones,” in which there are two methods to determine our own heart rates before selecting the best exercise for you.

1. Calculate maximum age-related heart rate 

  • 220 - (your age) = Your Maximum Heart Rate (HR Max)

Note: This formula might not be widely used amongst elderly, so I have another one as follows:

  • 208 - (0.7 x your age) = Your Maximum Heart Rate (HR Max)

This calculation may have variations either due to the differences in our heredity, physiology, or medicine from some congenital diseases that could affect your HR Max. As a result, I have a more precious way to determine your HR Max.

2. Estimate the maximum heart rate based on performance.

This self-designed method will provide the results based on each person’s physiology precisely.

● First time maximum speed running for 3 minutes

● Resting for 3 minutes

● Second time maximum speed running for 3 minutes

After the second run, your HR Max in the second run will be your base HR Max.

Actually, there is no perfect heart rate test. Instead, it depends on our own body and potential. Therefore, I would advise everyone to get enough rest before any kind of test.

The “Exercise Heart Rate Zones” were not designed to raise our maximum heart rates but to make us breathe normally more quickly after exercise. Furthermore, your maximum heart rate should be re-examined year-by-year due to your heart rate being directly variable with age.

Essentially, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that each zone should be separated to reduce complications for newcomers as follows:

1. Medium Level = 50-70% of HR Max
2. High Level = 70-85% of HR Max

After beginning exercise for a while, we could create a new plan for our own exercise based on the “Exercise Heart Rate Zones” technique, which is divided into 5 zones:

● 1st Zone : (Recovery - Very Light)

         In the first zone, your maximum heart rate should be at 50-60%. Exercising in this zone will not affect your respiratory or muscular system too much, which is ideal for body recovery, weight control, body warming, and post-exercise cooldown.

Appropriate training time : 20-40 minutes

● 2nd Zone : (Endurance - Light)

          In the second zone, your maximum heart rate should be at 60-70%. The range of your heart rate in this zone will increase partially, which is ideal for burning fat, building muscle, and also strengthening your lungs and heart.

Appropriate training time : 40-80 minutes

● 3rd Zone : (Tempo - Moderate)

         In the third zone, your maximum heart rate should be at 70-80%. Exercising in this zone will both accelerate and strengthen your body. You will feel a little tired, sweat more, and it may be difficult to speak. It might burn carbohydrates, fats, and sugars, which could help you lose weight. The third zone is ideal for those who want to manage their own diet and weight.

Appropriate training time : 10-40 minutes

● 4th Zone : (Lactate Threshold - Hard)

         In the fourth zone, your maximum heart rate should be at 80-90%. It is a short-term exercise in which your body will produce lactic acid as an essential source for your body. But an excessive amount of lactic acid will cause muscle soreness and tightness. You will feel more exhausted, breathe heavier, and sweat more to lower your body temperature. The exercises in this zone are beneficial for athletes who need to build and stabilize their muscles.

Appropriate training time : 2-10 minutes

 ● 5th Zone : (Anaerobic - Very Hard) 

          In the fifth zone, your maximum heart rate should be more than 90%. In this zone, your exercise will increase the efficiency of the nervous system, and your muscular system will generate more muscle fiber effectively. This last zone exercise will cause exhaustion and heavy breathing.

Appropriate training time : Less than 5 minutes


1. Stretching your body before and after exercise is very crucial for preventing injuries.

2. You shouldn’t have sweetened beverages immediately after exercise. The body will burn the energy from the beverage instead of the fat or stored energy 

3. After exercise in each zone, cooldowns are crucial to normalize your heart rate and homeostasis.

4. After exercising, you shouldn’t take a shower right afterwards. It’s preferable to sit and relax to normalize your body temperature.

The 3 most important things to remember are: Getting adequate sleep, Eat well, and Don’t starve yourself.

“Slow and Steady Wins the Race”