Thursday, April 5, 2012

Your Target Heart Rate During Exercise

To get the most out of your workout you need to be working in your target heart rate zone. It has been shown that you need to get your heart rate up to a certain level for a certain amount of time to make sure that your heart is getting an efficient workout.

What is your target heart rate?
Your target heart rate is a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the fastest that your heart can safely beat for your age. If you want to improve your fitness level, your heart rate needs to be in this zone for at least 20 minutes. This is the minimum level for health and weight loss.

Importance of your heart rate
Your heart rate determines how hard your heart is working. Failing to get your heart rate up to your target heart rate zone can lead to a less effective workout. Getting your heart rate too far above your target heart rate zone can lead to fatigue, injury or even death.

How to determine your target heart rate
There is an easy formula that applies to the general population:
(using a 20 year old as an example)
1. 220-your age = max heart rate (ex. 220-20 = 200 max heart rate)
2. 60-80% of your max heart rate = target heart rate zone
3. ex. 200 x .6 = 120 beats per minute
    ex. 200 x .8 = 160 beats per minute
4. Target heart rate for the average 20 year old = 120-160 beats per minute.

Heart rate monitors are also a great, easy way to determine your heart rate.

How to find your heart rate
1. Take your pulse by lightly placing your first 2 fingers over blood vessel either..
  - On the under side of your wrist (by your thumb) or..
  - On either side of your neck next to your Adam's apple
2. Then count the number of beats for 6 seconds
3. Multiply that number by 10
This way it gives you your beats per minute without having to stop exercising for a full minute. Take you pulse after you have been exercising for at least 5 minutes.

If you reach this intensity 3-5 times a week you will be on your way to success!

No comments:

Post a Comment