Your target heart rate is one of the best indicators of your fitness level. Your heart rate can guide you in determining if your workouts are working for you. Once you know what training zone to work in to reach your goals you will be able to build an effective workout plan.
This formula is one way to determine your heart rate percentage. You can then apply it to what zone you want to be working in. Your maximum heart rate (mhr) is approximately 220 – 40 (subtract your age) = 180 mhr. If you want to be working in the Fitness Zone you will take your mhr of 180 x .65 (Fitness Zone) = 117. So what this means is that a 40 year old wants to work within the fitness zone at the mid range which is 65% of mhr. In this case 65% would be 117 beats per minute.
There are several ways to monitor your working heart rate. Many cardio machines are equipped with heart rate monitors. The position of your hands on the machine will pick up your heart rate. There are also heart rate monitors that you can buy and wear on your body. These are nice if you are running or walking outdoors but they also work well at home or the gym.
The old fashioned way of checking your heart rate is to find a place on your body where you can feel your pulse beating strong, such as the wrist or neck. You will need a watch to count how many times your heart beats in one minute. The result is your current heart rate. There are short cuts to this formula such as count your heart rate for 6 seconds and add a zero at the end of the number. Such as, if you count 10 in 6 seconds add 0 and your estimated heart rate is 100. You can also count your heart beat for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. None of these methods will give you exact results but they will be close enough for you to determine the heart rate zone you are exercising in.
The most common Training Zones are defined as follows:
•Healthy Heart Zone (Warm-up): 50-60% of mhr. This is a good zone for people just beginning to exercise. It is also a good warm up zone for more experienced exercisers. You will receive health benefits in this zone such as decreased body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It is also helpful in preventing the risk of degenerative diseases and it is considered a safe zone for everyone.
•Fitness Zone (Fat Burning): 60-70% of mhr. You will get the same health benefits in this zone but it is harder and you will burn more calories. This is the zone where you will want to do a large part of your workout.
•Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training): 70-80% of mhr. The aerobic zone provides more benefits for the cardiovascular system and the heart. Every time you increase your heart rate you will burn more calories. You do not want to stay in this zone your entire workout unless you are an endurance athlete.
•Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training-Intervals): 80-90% of mhr. This is a very high intensity zone and you will not want to be in this zone for long. You may reach this zone at points if you are doing a high intensity interval training workout. You may also reach it if you are racing.
A balanced workout will include a variety of these zones and they are not just for cardio. Keep track of your heart rate when strength training also. You will be working in one of the training zones which will be based on your pace, the amount of weight or repetitions and the duration of your workout.
Following is a chart of Age-Predicted Heart Rate Parameters
It will make it easier for you to determine your personal heart rate in a particular training zone.
|Age||Healthy Heart Zone: (Warm up) 50- 60% of max HR||Fitness Zone: (Fat Burning) 60-70% of max HR||Aerobic Zone: (Endurance Training) 70-80% of max HR||Anaerobic Zone: (Performance Training) 80-90% of max HR|
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