Is 150 a Good Heart Rate for Exercise?

Reviewed on 4/27/2022

Person checking their heart rate on their smart watch
For vigorous exercise, aim for 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. A 150 BPM heart rate would fall into the category of vigorous exercise for most adults. 

The heart rate is the number of times the heartbeats per minute (BPM). 

The easiest way to determine an appropriate heart rate for exercise is: 

  • Start with 220 and subtract your age
    • That number is your maximum heart rate
  • For moderate exercise, try to reach 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate 
    • Activities done at moderate intensity are a medium effort and will cause the heart to beat faster and you to breathe harder, but you can still talk
  • For vigorous exercise, aim for 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate
    • Vigorous intensity exercise requires more effort, and will cause you to become warm, start to sweat, and get more easily out of breath if you talk

For example, for a 35-year-old: 

  • 220 minus 35 = 185 BPM maximum heart rate
  • For moderate exercise, a 35-year-old should aim for a heart rate between 93 to 130 BPM (50% to 70% of the maximum heart rate)
  • For vigorous exercise, a 35-year-old should aim for a heart rate between 130 to 157 BPM (70% to 85% of the maximum heart rate)
A 150 BPM heart rate would fall into the category of vigorous exercise for most adults. 

What Kinds of Exercise Are Moderate of Vigorous Intensity?

Aerobic exercise (“cardio”) increases the heart rate and improves cardiorespiratory fitness

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities include:

  • Walking at least 2.5 miles per hour
  • Cycling under 10 miles per hour
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing (ballroom or social)
  • Gardening

Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities include:

  • Running
  • Cycling 10 over miles per hour 
  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
  • Swimming laps
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy yardwork such as continuous digging or hoeing

How Much Exercise Should I Do?

The American Heart Association recommends: 

  • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, spread throughout the week if possible
  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) at least 2 days per week

You can gain even more benefit from exercise if you are active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week. Gradually increase the amount and intensity over time.

Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program to determine the right activity for you. 

How Can I Find My Heart Rate?

To find your heart rate, check your pulse, which can be felt on your:

  • Wrists
  • Inside of the elbow
  • Side of the neck
  • Top of the foot

Place your finger (not your thumb) over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds to get your heart rate. 

According to the American Heart Association, a normal adult resting heart rate is between 60 beats per minute (BPM) and 100 BPM for people 15 years and older. 

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Reviewed on 4/27/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.heart.org/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2172054-overview#a2

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/measuring/heartrate.htm

https://www.novanthealth.org/healthy-headlines/shoot-for-this-heart-rate-when-you-exercise#:~:text=For%20moderate%20activity%2C%20you%20want,%25)%20when%20you're%20exercising.

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults