Is your maximum heart rate really higher than you think?

New studies show that the way we calculate our heart rate goal is wrong, which could mean your workout isn't as intense as you thought.
Woman running with heart rate monitor


By Jessica Chia for Prevention

Prevention Your workouts may be less intense than you think. Here’s why: the go-to formula for calculating maximum heart rate—220 minus your age—is wrong for most adults, according to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

In the study of 3,300 Norwegian adults, this standard formula was shown to underestimate top heart rate values in 77 percent of the cases. In fact, the formula churned out too-low results for up to 90 percent of those between the ages of 40 and 60, and in 60 to 69-year-olds, the inaccuracy translated to an average under-prediction of 15 beats per minute below the rate they could actually reach.

Keep reading to learn more about why your workout may be less intense than you think…

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