Regular aerobic exercise, in which your heart beats faster to meet your muscles' demand for more oxygen, has been proven to benefit your whole cardiovascular system. To know just how fast your heart should beat during exercise for maximum effect, you should know your target heart rate. This is the healthy range of heartbeats per minute — roughly 60 to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate — that beginning exercisers to world class athletes should aim for during their aerobics. If the target heart rate is reached at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes each time, your heart and blood vessels will most likely become stronger and healthier.
To determine your heart rate while exercising, take your pulse at the base of the thumb or the side of the neck for 10 seconds. Multiply it by six, and you have learned your heart beats per minute. Use the tool to find out your lowest helpful target heart rate and the highest safe target heart rate both per minute and per 10-second increment.