According to the American Heart Association, the target heart rate for a 78 year old male is 71 beats per minute to 99 beats per minute for moderate exercise. For vigorous exercise, the target heart rate is 99 beats per minute to 121 beats per minute.
Target heart rate is the number beats per minute your heart should beat during moderate or vigorous exercise in order to achieve a certain level of cardiovascular fitness.
Target heart rate is determined by finding your maximum heart rate using the formula 220 - age for males and then taking a percentage of that number depending on the type of workout and physical fitness level you'd like to achieve.
According to the American Heart Association, you should aim for 50%-70% of your maximum heart rate during moderate exercise like walking, or 70%-85% during vigorous exercise like running.
If you just started working out or your level of fitness is low, you'll likely want to start out at 50% of your maximum heart rate. As you get more physically fit, you can work all the way up to 85%.
For moderate exercise, your list of target heart rates is 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99.
For vigorous exercise, your list of target heart rates is 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121.
If you have an HSA as part of your health insurance plan, you'll be pleased to find that heart rate monitors are considered an eligible expense.
You can measure your heart rate in a variety of ways. One way is to take your pulse on your wrist or neck and count the number of beats over a certain period of time. For example, you can count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply that number by 6 to get the number of beats per minute. Similarly, you can count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4 to get the number of beats per minute. You could also count the number of beats in 60 seconds, but nobody has time for that.
Here's an example if you're a 78 year old male: You're exercising and want to find out what your heart rate is. You take your pulse and count to 10. During that time period, you counted 18 beats. If you multiply that by 6, you get 108 beats per minute, which is a pretty good workout for your age. Nice!
You can also take your heart rate with a digital heart rate monitor, which can be something you wear around your chest (POLAR, Garmin), wrist (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, or Whoop), or even on your fingertip (pulse oximeter).
The information on this page is intended to be an educational reference and is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you're having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.