Should I Do Heart Rate Training?
You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about heart rate training, but you may not understand exactly what it is or how it works. No matter what form of exercise you prefer, your ideal pace is probably different than anyone else’s. Your heart rate, fitness level, general health and effort perception are unique to you. These factors are affected by many things, including your size, gender, age, medications, and your attitude. So a heart that is not fit will beat faster than one that is fit.
The basic idea behind heart rate training is to train your aerobic system, but not to overstress your skeletal and muscular systems. By monitoring your heart rate, you are able to measure the intensity of your workout and recovery levels. This allows for consistent long-term improvement as you work toward your goal.
How to find your target heart rate zone
If you like calculating your target heart rate zone yourself, here is the basic method:
Start by measuring your resting heart rate when you first wake up. While still in bed, put two fingers on either your wrist or on your neck, next to your larynx. Take your pulse for one minute. Do this for three mornings, then average the readings to determine your average resting heart rate.
Next, determine your maximum heart rate, which is the fastest rate at which your heart beats, measured in beats per minute. A quick and easy way to find your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. As you age, your maximum heart rate decreases.
Finally, subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to determine your heart rate reserve.
Now, multiply your heart rate reserve by 0.7 and add your resting heart rate. Multiply your heart rate reserve by 0.85 then add your resting heart rate to this number. The resulting two numbers are your training zone heart rate, which means that when you are exercising, your heart rate should fall between these two numbers.
Wasn’t that fun? The good news is we now have better options. There are many heart rate monitor options available, including state-of-the-art exercise equipment with built-in heart monitors. The numbers are essential, but what you do with those numbers can help you achieve the maximum benefits from your workout.
Benefits of heart rate training
The feedback from heart rate monitors will establish how your body responds to a workout. If your heart rate is too low, you are not getting the maximum benefits. If it is too high, you can burn out, or injure yourself. Therefore, this information helps you choose and fine-tune the most effective workout program for you.
Here are just a few of the benefits of heart rate training:
- Detailed, accurate feedback, both during and after workouts
- Helps you learn about how your body responds to exercise
- Enables you to track and accurately adjust your training program
- Allows you to monitor and control your intensity
- Helps you fine-tune your exercise to achieve the most effective results
- Makes it easy to monitor your progress
Is heart rate training right for me?
Monitoring your heart rate consistently and accurately is an effective training tool. In many cases, it can help with blood sugar levels, cholesterol, lower blood pressure, weight loss and other health concerns. For athletes, it can improve cardiac output and increase the amount of oxygen used during exercise. Many people find it easier to be consistent in their workout programs based on the numbers. Guessing your intensity levels during a workout may be counterproductive and in some cases, risky.
That is why it is important to use the best cardio equipment. True Fitness offers Heart Rate Cruise Control™ (HRC), which adjusts your workout based on your target heart rate. With HRC, you set your target heart rate (just like cruise control in your car), and the machine automatically adjusts speed and incline to keep you within 2 beats of your target for more efficient workouts. Check out the latest heart monitoring equipment available on treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals. For more information, contact us today.