Research has shown that many people who do exercise aren't giving their heart the workout it needs. Almost half of those surveyed thought they exercised moderately, but in reality only 15% were exercising at what is considered a moderate level. Most were not even at 45 percent of maximum capacity. Granted, any exercise is better than none at all, but greater benefits can be derived by increasing your workout to a moderate level - about 55% of your heart rate capacity.
|Light Intensity is considered between 50-60% of max.
This kind of exercise is easy, but still delivers some health benefits.
|Moderate Intensity is 60-70% of max. At this level you can expect to improve your fitness level, build endurance and is recommended for weight loss. Here's where you begin to improve your cardiovascular health.|
|Heavy Intensity is 70-85%. Now you're working hard and strengthening your aerobic fitness.|
The American Heart Association recommends an exercise Target Heart Range for most healthy people from 50-75%. Once you establish your Zone and reach that level you should maintain it for 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week for optimal benefits.
Determine your Target Heart Rate by subtracting your age from 220. This represents your Maximum Heart Rate. Now, multiply that number by the Intensity percentage level you have chosen. If you are 30 years of age and have decided to exercise at a Moderate Intensity level, your formula would look like this:
220 (-) 30 = 190 (x) .60 = 114 bpm (beats per minute)
220 (-) 30 = 190 (x) .70 = 133 bpm
Your Target "Zone" is between 114 and 133 beats per minute. Keep your pulse between these two numbers as you exercise.
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Now that you know your Target Heart Rate, check your pulse as you exercise. An easy way to do this is to check your heartbeats (pulse) for 10 seconds using your watch, then multiply that number by 6 to get your beats per minute.
You can measure your heartbeat in several ways:
When you exercise, your body speeds up and so does your heart as it works to meet the increasing needs for oxygen and blood to muscles and organs. But how much speeding-up is safe for you? If you've been sedentary, consider the following and consult your doctor before starting an exercise program:
Important Note: Medication, energy drinks, alcohol and nicotine can alter your heart rate. If you feel unexpected pain or excessive fatigue when exercising, stop or continue at a lower intensity.
Visit Fitness USA for more Information on Target Heart Rate and how you can maximize your time and effort during your workout. Fitness USA's Certified Fitness Trainers are always available to all members without additional fees. First time visitors over 18 are welcome for a FREE visit and consultation. Go to Locations for the center nearest you.