Happy Heart Month Er’ebody! We’re continuing our theme this week and talking about determining your best heart rate zone for weight loss. Say wuh!? Hold on, it’s not as confusing as it sounds. You may have heard the terms maximum heart rate, target heart rate zone or resting heart rate a time or two and today I’m going explain exactly what all that means and how knowing it can improve the health of your heart.
Why knowing your target heart rate zone is important?
By knowing your target heart rate, you’ll know which zone or percentage of that target heart rate is specific to the fitness level your trying to reach. Knowing your heart rate during exercise also helps to gauge your progress to help you achieve your desired goals so you can adjust your workout accordingly.
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How to determine your target heart rate zone.
To identify your target heart rate zone, you must first calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR). The easiest way to calculate your maximum heart rate is by doing this simple subtraction equation: 220 – your age = your maximum heart rate, so using me as an example, my MHR would be 220 – 46 (my current age) = 174.
Now that you know how to determine your Maximum Heart Rate, let’s take a look at the different Heart Rate Zones so you can determine which zone suits you best for your current goals and fitness level/needs:
Zone 1 – 50-75% – Low Intensity (This would be heart rate for me between 87 – 130)
This is the ideal range for warming up and cooling down or those lower intensity exercises such as walking. This is a great zone for beginners and improving overall health, heart health and weight loss.
Zone 2 – 76-85% – Moderate Intensity (This would be heart rate for me between 132-147)
This zone is great for developing endurance, improving heart health and burning calories. Due to energy demands, training in this zone will cause your body to rely on both carbs and fats for energy. Overall, this is a good zone for building general fitness. An example of this zone would be longer endurance activities such as running or strength training.
Zone 3 – 86- 95% – High Intensity (This would be heart rate for me between 149 – 165)
You should only be able to maintain this level of intensity for a short period of time-30 minutes. Higher intensity workouts are usually a reflection of this zone, such as HIIT or circuit workouts and are best for fat loss.
As improvements are made during several weeks of training, your heart rate will drop more quickly. The faster your heart rate drops, the stronger your heart is getting. 🙂
The easiest way to track your heart rate while doing cardio training is by using a heart rate monitor.
The one I used during my recent workout is the Beets Blu HRM.
Here are a few things I really liked about the Beets Blu HRM:
- Very easy set up-basically plug and play.
- It works with popular fitness apps such as RunKeeper and it synced really quickly via some bluetooth action.
- The strap was comfortable and fit well.
- It was accurate. I double checked my heart rate the old fashioned way using my fingers (I’m a nurse! I can’t help it!) and it was right on point.
- The price is great for what this device provides. It’s a great starter heart rate monitor to allow you to familiarize yourself with checking your heart rate at a cheaper cost.
What did you do for Valentine’s Day my friends?! The hubby and I had a really fun time working out together at Hillcrest Fit Body Boot Camp last week for Couples Night. You know what they say…. Couples who workout together, stay together. <3
According to the Beets Blu, I hit 148-150 for my heart rate that night! Hola!
Beets Blu supplied me with their HRM to review. All opinions are my own.