Stroke Prevention Exercise Program (SPEP) Target Heart Rate Zone

The Comprehensive Stroke and Rehabilitation Services programs at UW Hospital and Clinics have partnered to create a special exercise program for people who have had strokes. The Stroke Prevention Exercise Program or "SPEP" has been designed to give you safe and fun exercise options to help prevent new strokes.


One more way to tell how hard you are exercising (besides the Borg Scale) is to take your heart rate while exercising. Each person has a certain target heart rate zone to work within for moderate effort exercise. Checking heart rate is not a good way for all people to track how hard they are exercising. If your physical or occupational therapist tells you this is a good way for you to track how hard you are exercising, they will also help you figure out your target heart rate zone.

The American Heart Association suggests that people who have had a stroke should exercise at 50 to 80 percent of their estimated maximum heart rate for the best health benefits. Use the chart below to find your target heart rate zone for exercise.

 Age (years) Estimated Maximum Heart Rate  Target Heart Rate Zone 
20  200  100-160 
25  195  98-156 
30  190  95-152 
35  185 93-148 
40  180  90-144 
45  175  88-140 
50  170  85-136 
55  165  83-132 
60  160  80-128 
65  155  78-124 
70  150  75-120 
75  145  73-116 
80  140  70-112 
85  135  68-108 
90  130  65-104 

Note: Your goal range of effort is 13-14 (somewhat hard) on the Borg Scale. Review Signs of Exercising Too Hard and Exercise Safeguards before all workouts.