Have you heard about your target heart rate related to exercise? What is it, you may be asking yourself, and is it important? If you are wanting cardiovascular benefits, you need to work out 3 - 4 times a week for 15-20 minutes at an intensity which raises the heart rate to 70% of your maximum heart rate.
You can figure your maximum heart rate by performing a simple mathematic equation. First of all, subtract your age from 220. This is your estimated maximum heart rate. Now multiply this number by 70%. Here is an example: 220 -36 (my age) = 184. This is my maximum heart rate. Next I multiply by .70, so 184 x .70 = 128.8. This is the number of beats per minute I should be striving for as I work out (minimum).
If you want to burn fat or participate in sports you should strive for closer to 85% of your maximum heart rate. The beginning formula is the same. First of all, subtract your age from 220. This is your estimated maximum heart rate. Now multiply this number by 85%. Here is an example: 220 -36 (my age) = 184. Next I multiply by .85, so 184 x .85 = 156.4. I should be striving for a heart rate between 140-155.
This is what I am currently at. As I exercise my heart rate is consistently staying close to 155. This burns more calories as I work out, and keeps my metabolism higher for a longer time after I stop. (Yes, I'm burning more calories when my metabolism is up).
You need to be consistenly working out for several weeks before you bump your heart rate up close to the 85%. If you exceed this, you may experience chronic fatigue, and it is of little benefit to your body. Yes, you may need to work up to even the lower level. Do this gradually.
Of course, as you become more fit, it will take more exertion to get your heart rate up. You may find you need to increase your intensity to elevate and maintain your heart rate at the "fat burning" level.
As I exercise, my DVD's stop to take a heart rate check. Even if yours doesn't, you should pause every few minutes to check your pulse. I have found it easiest for myself to do a 15 second rate check, and simply multiply this by 4 to find my heart rate.
**Here is a link to a website I just found that explains and shows step-by-step how to do this.
Next tip, I will post some keys to losing fat.
Happy Crunching, Ladies!