For maximum fitness, what most won’t bother is to regulate what their heart rate is, this to have the best possible workout. What needs to be monitored are issues such as one’s recovery heart rate, target heart rate, and reaching the the “zone” during any workout.
What most often hear is that once their heart rate gets up to a certain beat per minute, is when they’ll reach that needed plateau to burn off fat, calories, or carbs. This is what’s commonly preached by fitness instructors, along with various healthcare practitioners.
What most believe is that they need to reach a certain targeted zone once they exercise, this for the workout to have any effect. So what needs to be understood is how valid complying to specific heart rate training is.
Your Heart Rate
Once you take your pulse, what you’re finding out is how many times per minute that your heart is beating, which is also referred to as heart rate. What this pulse does is measures your arterial pressure.
The Measurement Of Your Pulse
Before you begin your workout, take your pulse by placing both your index and middle finger on your wrist, keeping your thumb underneath.
Press down gently applying enough pressure to feel your pulse. What your thumb has is its own pulse so never use it. The best method is wearing a heart rate monitor, which will give consistent accurate feedback on your pulse rate.
Your Resting Heart Rate
What you want to measure is your resting heart rate before you start exercising. This resting rate for most should be anywhere from 40 to 100 beats per minute.
What’s known is that the heart rate for women are usually higher than men. The lower that your heart rate is, the more fit that you’re generally considered to be.
Monitoring Your Workout Heart Rate
When exercising, what you’ll be measuring is your exercise heart rate. Do so by stopping any movement for the duration of the measurement.
Once you’ve stopped, take your pulse on your wrist or better yet, your neck, this by placing two fingers on the opposite sides of the neck, and you should feel your pulse.
Know Your Recovery Heart Rate
During the workout, your heart rate will be quicker than the resting rate. How fast your heart rate comes back down after you stop exercising, shows your fitness level. This is also known as your recovery heart rate.
For the average individual with a healthy heart, there should be approximately 20 beats per minute that should drop in heart rate, this once stopping any type of cardiovascular exercise.
Your Target Heart Rate
This is different from your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is the highest that your heart rate should go, this while on a stress test.
To calculate THR, subtract your age from 220. If you’re 50 years old, then (220 – 50 = 170). Your target heart rate is calculated by multiplying your lower zone (60% percent) and your higher zone (85% percent).
Low heart rate * 60% = 170 x 60% = 102
Mid heart rate * 70% = 170 x 70% = 119
Maximum heart rate * 85% = 190 x 85% = 145
Your heart rate should remain in the THR for the duration of your workout, which is after the warm up and before cooling down. The cause of your THR remaining too low or too high can be because you’re out of shape, or you’re taking certain medication.
Once you get more fit by doing constant cardio training, it may become difficult or longer to reach your THR, this because your heart is working more efficiently as your fitness level improves.
Aerobic Heart Rate Training
To get maximum health benefits from aerobic training, what’s suggested is exercising at an intensity level which stimulates the aerobic system, for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes per session. For those just starting out, begin with 5 to 10 minutes.
What working out your cardiovascular system does is results in improved lung capacity, better endurance, a stronger heart, while experiencing weight loss.
Getting into your aerobic zone includes exercising at 70% to 80% percent of your target heart rate while mild sweating. You should be able to talk normally, while doing an activity such as biking.
Training Better To Burn More Fat
The fat burning zone is a lower intensity state which can burn up to 10 calories per minute. What the fat burning zone includes is exercising at 60% to 70% percent of your target heart rate while talking comfortably, an activity such as jogging.
What’s known is that you’ll burn fat regardless of how high that your heart rate gets. Keeping your heart rate below a certain threshold to burn off fat, isn’t considered an issue.
Those who consistently perform high intensity interval workouts three times per week, should realize more fat loss, than working out three times a week at a lower intensity rate.
What’s known is that there’s an overlap when it comes to the fat burning zone and the aerobic zone. Training for fat oxidation and aerobic fitness, are not mutually exclusive and is possible to be accomplished simultaneously.
Keeping It Low Intensity
Having a long hard aerobic workout isn’t for everyone. If you fall into any of the following categories, you should be seeking medical advice, this before attempting to train to your target heart rate.
This includes those on calcium channel blockers or beta blockers, those taking any type of respiratory medication, those who are diabetic, or pregnant women who may be experiencing complications.
The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercising
What doing aerobic exercise does is lowers your risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, helps you lose weight, while lowering stress and anxiety levels.
The best aerobic exercises include running which is high impact, swimming or dancing which is low impact, or taking actual aerobic classes, which could be low or high impact.