To get the most out of a fitness program and reach your goals sooner, you should know that keeping up with your heart rate is vital. Yet, you can take it to another level. Instead of just monitoring what your heart rate is during a workout, you can use these numbers continually throughout your workout and do heart rate training. Heart rate training is when you keep up with your heart rate so you can take your body into different heart rate zones during your workout. Heart rate training is becoming the preferred method of exercise for many people because exercise goals are met sooner and more efficiently.
To begin heart rate training you must first find out your maximum heart rate. After you learn your maximum heart rate, you will take that number and base all of the heart rate zones around it. But, before you find out what your maximum heart rate is and do the calculations, you should judge what fitness level you are at:
Poor Shape: You have been sedentary and you haven’t exercised in the past eight weeks or longer. Fair Shape: You are fairly active and walk more than a mile, or do some type of aerobic activity, at least three times a week. Good Shape: You exercise almost daily and/or you run five or more miles weekly.
Do the following test to help you see what range your maximum heart rate will be in.
One Mile Walking Test: Use a treadmill or go to a track where you can accurately walk one mile. Walk at a steady and even pace. The last quarter of your mile you should take your heart rate. If you listed your fitness level as poor, add 40 to this number. If you listed your fitness level as fair, add 50 to this number. If you listed your fitness level as good, add 60 to this number.
Once you know what your maximum heart rate is, you can begin heart rate training. The easiest way to keep up with your heart rate during a workout is to use a machine that has a heart rate control monitor. Most quality treadmills and fitness machines come with heart rate control monitors. A monitor will tell you what your heart rate is during your workout so you know what heart rate zone you are in at any given time. A heart rate monitor becomes your personal trainer and takes the guesswork out of heart rate training. The readings let you know when you are over exerting yourself, or when you should give yourself a little extra push so you can stay in a target zone longer, or even push yourself up to the next heart rate zone.
Heart Rate Training Zones
Unlike other forms of exercise a heart rate training workout should only last between 20-30 minutes. During the workout you should move in and out of your heart rate zones.
Healthy Heart Zone: You feel comfortable and your heart rate is at 50%-60% of your maximum heart rate.
Fitness Zone: You find it is getting a little harder to talk and you are breathing heavier. You heart rate is at 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate.
Aerobic Zone: In this zone your heart rate is 70%-80% of your maximum heart rate and you should only be able to speak in phrases.
Anaerobic Zone: In this zone your heart rate is 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate and you should only be able to gasp out a word here and there because you will be breathing heavily.
Red Line Zone: You will only be able to stay within this zone for a few minutes, and you probably won’t be able to speak at all. If you do, it will be a gasped word or two that may be hard to understand. Your heart rate is on target for your maximum heart rate goal.
Heart rate training is a great way to reach your weight loss or training goals faster. Using a quality treadmill, or other exercise machine, that is equipped with a heart rate control monitor is by far the easiest way to heart rate train. These machines enable you to know exactly what is going on with your heart rate so you can effectively move in and out of your heart rate zones.
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