No matter how hard I exercise, my heart rate never gets as high as my husband's. Should I be concerned? No; it may just mean that you are in very good shape. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in England showed that athletes have much lower maximum heart rates than sedentary people and that female athletes have lower maximum heart rates than male athletes ( International Journal of Sports Medicine , February 2008).
Most exercisers should not even bother with heart rate calculations. Your training heart rate occurs when you exercise vigorously enough to make your body require more oxygen. You can tell when this happens because you will start to breathe deeper and faster, raising your shoulders with each breath. Once or twice a week, you should try to exercise intensely enough to increase your need for oxygen. If you feel uncomfortable, you should slow down. Non-athletes do not ever need to exercise so vigorously that they become severely short of breath. More