What is the best method used to determine we are exercising at an intensity that will burn body fat as well as increase our level of fitness? Monitor your training heart rate! At any level of experience it is essential to understand the importance of monitoring our heart rate during training. There is a reason why so many athletes, pro sports people and olympians place a huge importance in monitoring their heart rates, to have data relating to how hard to push themselves to get the best results from their training routines and their bodies. Learning about heart rate training you will have to understand the “Target Heart Rate Training Zone”, a range of heart beats per minute that we need to sustain, in order to effectively increase our fitness levels.
First we need to understand how to find our training heart rate. This zone is generally between 60% – 85% of what we call our “max heart rate”, the projected maximum number of beats our heart is capable of, for one minute. Our projected maximum heart rate is calculated by age.
To work out our maximum heart rate we need to follow this simple equation:
Take 220 – your age = ____ (this is your maximum heart rate per minute).
To estimate your training heart range let’s start with our lower- limit exercise- training heart rate, which will require you to multiple your personal maximum heart rate by 0.6 To estimate your our upper-limit exercise-training zone heart rate, multiple your maximum heart rate by 0.9.
The range between our upper and lower limits is the exercise heart range for you.
To increase your fitness level, you will need to keep your heart rate between your lower and upper limits sustained for a minimum period of approximately 15 minutes, increasing your intensity as you increase your fitness ability. The 15 minutes trained does not include a warm up or cool down period so don’t forget to include these.
To lose weight/body fat, you will need to exercise at the lower-middle end of the exercise heart rate range for a longer period of time. This is considered a better option than exercising at the higher end of the range for a shorter period of time. The longer amount of time you perform aerobic exercise, the more your body releases stored fat as fuel. Exercising at high intensity will improve your cardiovascular fitness levels but may not result in many fat stores being used, especially if the training session is too brief. Fat is the stored fuel in our body that the body uses for endurance activities so to burn fat we need to exercise for longer periods of time.
When we monitor our training heart rate we become better prepared in understanding how to get fit and lose weight. It is important to know exactly how hard to push yourself, your body and your hear rate to get the best results in your training to assist you to achieve your goals. So next time you have a training workout, take some time out to figure out your training heart rate.
A great way to monitor your training heart rate is by purchasing your own heart rate sports watch. Most sports watches now come with an added feature of monitoring your training heart rate.