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Heart Rate

When performing different fitness activities you will find that your heart rate will be at different zones depending on your intensity. Did you know that where your heart rate is will actually determine what results you will achieve?There are four different training heart rate zones and each are different.

General Health Zone:

In order to reduce the chance of developing chronic diseases it is recommended to perform some type of fitness activity at 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes. You need to be trying to achieve this at least 3-4 times a week. Later we will determine how to calculate your maximum heart rate and the zone heart rate calculations. Activities to put you in this range include: walking, gardening, or easy cycling for example. Any low intensity activities can get your heart rate where it needs to be for general health.

Weight Management:

If you are looking to reduce your body fat and achieve weight loss than you need to get your heart rate in the 60 to 70 percent zone of your maximum heart rate. Once again you need to keep your body exercising for at least 30 minutes, and perform a decent pace jog for example in this zone. There is no need to do fast running or any sprinting as your heart rate is only still at 60 to 70 percent.

Aerobic Conditioning:

If your goal is to improve your cardio-vascular conditioning for better stamina and endurance, you should put your heart rate in the 70 to 80 percent training heart rate range. If you are fairly fit already than most likely you will need to be in this range to achieve weight loss. You need to remember if you are new to training then you won’t need to get your heart rate as high to achieve weight loss. This zone will probably require you to start running and keep the pace for at least 30 minutes.

Advanced Conditioning:

Are you training to get your body in top shape for maybe some type of sporting event such as a triathlon? Then you need to be pushing your body over the 80 percent maximum heart rate training zone. This workout zone is definitely for the extremely fit people as it’s hard to keep your heart rate in this zone for an extended period of time as it can become quite physically and mentally demanding.

How do you work out your maximum heart rate zone? Well, just use the formula below and you then could be determining your training heart rate range.

Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – Your Age

So lets say you are 24 years old than your maximum heart rate will be 220 – 24 = 196 beats per minute (bpm)

Let’s say you wanted to achieve weight management then you need to keep your body in the 60 to 70 percent zone of 196 beats per minute. This can be found as follows:

(60% – 70%) * (196) bpm

Minimum heart rate range = 60% * 196 bpm = 117.6 bpm

Maximum heart rate range = 70% * 196 bpm = 137.2 bpm

Therefore for an average 24 year old who wants to perform weight management they should keep their heart rate between 118 and 137 beats per minute (bpm rounded).

The final thing you must think about is how to measure your heart rate. If you are using a piece of fitness equipment sometimes they may have hand held pulse sensors or a heart rate chest strap included. Hand held pulse sensors are only around 80 percent accurate where a heart rate chest strap provides about 99 percent accuracy. This is very important because if you want to measure your heart rate accurately then you are going to need a chest strap to get you the best results possible. One of the best heart rate monitoring companies is Polar who make the heart rate watches which use the chest strap to transmit your heart rate. You will need a portable watch if you decide to exercise without equipment that caters for your heart rate. Start measuring your heart rate today and getter better results.

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