What Is Low Heart Rate Training When You Exercise?

Compared to conventional high heart rate training, low-intensity cardiac exercise may help you reach your fitness objectives more slowly, but it can also help you increase your endurance.

You may have heard or read that your target heart rate should be approximately 75% of your maximum heart rate to maximise the benefits of your jogging or other aerobic workouts. However, intense exercise might cause cardiac issues, particularly in individuals who aren't accustomed to it.

Your heart rate is still elevated during low-intensity heart exercise, but it may not be as elevated as it could be during conventional high-heart rate training.

You can still increase your cardiovascular fitness with low-intensity cardiac exercise while lowering the risk of overdoing it. The goal is to prevent an excessive increase in heart rate during exercise so that you can work out for extended periods in a safer manner.

What does low-intensity heart training do?

Phil Maffetone, a running coach, created low-intensity heart training to help his runners gain endurance. The same ideas hold for swimming, cycling, and other aerobic activities.

Running or exercising at a slower speed helps to prevent an excessive increase in heart rate, which is known as low-intensity heart training.

Your body gets better at using energy as time goes on, and your heart and lungs get stronger.

The idea behind low-intensity heart training is to eventually return you to your normal pace, but at a lower heart rate than you would have if you hadn't done the exercise. By using this method, you can exercise without worrying about overtaxing your heart.

What heart rate zone should you have in heart rate training?

You can find your target heart rate and optimal low heart rate for exercising using a variety of formulas. These methods are predicated on the maximal heart rate appropriate for your age.

Your optimum maximal heart rate can be calculated by deducting your age from 220, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.

In low-intensity cardiac exercise, your age is subtracted from 180 instead. This figure becomes the maximum heart rate you should aim for when working out.

For instance, if you were fifty years old, you would get 130 by deducting fifty from 180. Then, 130 beats per minute would be your goal heart rate for low-intensity cardiac exercise and no more.

What are the benefits of low heart rate training?

Being able to run or perform other aerobic exercises at your usual pace but with a lower heart rate is the main advantage of low heart rate training. This increases your endurance while putting less strain on your heart muscle.

Focused endurance training (FOC) and polarised endurance training were the two training modalities that were compared in a 2019 study. The runners in the FOC group exercised for a longer period and at a higher heart rate and intensity. The runners in the polarised endurance training group ran at a slower pace and a lower heart rate for the majority of their workouts.

The two groups' fitness gains were comparable, according to the researchers, however, the FOC group was able to see those benefits more quickly.

How long does it take to see the effects of low heart rate training?

Each person will respond differently to low heart rate exercise in terms of how quickly they see results. Nonetheless, a 2021 study indicates that after just 4 weeks, 1 hour of low-intensity training twice a week can begin to enhance endurance.

You may need to continue your low heart rate training for at least two to three months to return to your typical jogging pace at a lower heart rate.

Can your heart rate be too low during exercise?

Even while being active at any speed is preferable to being inactive, increasing heart rate is necessary to reap the benefits for your cardiovascular system.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), one should gradually increase one's heart rate until it reaches around 50% of their maximum heart rate (220 minus their age). You cannot get the desired or necessary cardiovascular benefits if you exercise less than 50% of your maximum.

You may be in exceptional health if your heart beats efficiently and your heart rate is low at rest or during exercise.

On the other hand, a low heart rate may also indicate a cardiovascular issue, such as bradycardia, which is an abnormally slow heart rate. Additionally, bradycardia may prevent your heart from beating quickly enough to meet the demands of exercise.


When exercising, going above your maximum heart rate might damage your heart and result in issues like arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats.

For the majority of people, exercising slowly to keep their heart rate low is safe.

However, you should consult your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise if you have a cardiac disease, such as a history of heart attack or stroke, arrhythmia, heart failure, or another worry.

For you to learn how to exercise safely and successfully, your doctor could advise you to enrol in a supervised cardiac rehabilitation programme.

Sample low heart rate training plan

Finding your low heart rate number is a necessary first step in beginning a low heart rate training programme.

Use a chest strap that will continuously monitor your heart rate while you run or exercise for the greatest monitoring results. If you notice that your heart rate is higher than you would like it to be, take a step back and slow down. You will eventually discover how much effort puts you in your target range, but it will take some getting used to.

It's up to you and your present fitness level how many kilometres you run or how long you spend working out.

If you typically run three miles, set a goal of three miles, but always remember that you won't go above your low heart rate target.

If your heart rate rises during your workout, you may first need to shorten the distance you cover or the amount of time you spend exercising.

Reduce to a brisk walk if jogging quickly causes your heart rate to rise above your desired level.

Remember that if you follow a low heart rate training plan, you must complete all of your workouts—including strength training and other exercises—at your targeted low heart rate. You'll soon be able to increase the intensity of your workouts as your body adjusts to maintaining a lower heart rate during physical activity.


Beginning a low heart rate training programme might be challenging for individuals who regularly run or engage in other cardiovascular workouts. It entails going more slowly than normal and keeping a close eye on your heart rate to prevent it from rising too high.

If you persist for several months, though, you might discover that you're returning to your typical speed while experiencing a slower heart rate than you had before to alter your exercise regimen.


Is 170 bpm bad when exercising?

For a 50-year-old, the maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50 or 170 beats per minute.

Is a lower heart rate better during exercise?

You can exercise for longer periods and see greater weight loss advantages if you maintain your heart rate within the lower range of the recommended range. You will have greater cardiorespiratory fitness if you maintain your heart rate within the upper range of the recommended range.

What if my heart rate is 180 when exercising?

Depending on your age this could be completely normal

Is 7 A Good heart rate?

60 to 100 beats per minute.

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