Saturday, December 12, 2009

Know Your Target Heart Rate, Exercise Efficiently

I do my best to be fit and healthy, not only to look good, but to feel good as well. Coupled with a healthy diet, exercise (such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and dancing) will help you achieve better health.

Proper pacing during exercise is very important, so you need to know your how hard you should exercise. This is where Target Heart Rate comes in.

What is Target Heart Rate?
Target Heart Rate (THR), or Training Heart Rate, is a desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables one's heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout.

What is the Average Maximum Heart Rate?
Maximum Heart Rate is computed as 220 minus age. For a 20 year old, his/her max HR would be 200 beats per minute (or bpm).

What is the Target Heart Rate Zone?
Target Heart Rate Zones are 50% to 85% intensity of the Maximum Heart Rate. For a 20 year old, the zone is 100 to 170 bpm.

How do I apply THR?
When starting your exercise program, you should target for 50% intensity (100 bpm) for the first few weeks. Less than this, you are not exerting much effort. Then, you should gradually build up to 75% intensity (150 bpm). After many months on 75%, you can try increasing to 80% intensity. Unless you are a pro athlete, I don't think you would need to go to 85% intensity, unless you want to, of course.

You can check your pulse manually, by feeling the side of your neck or the thumb side of your wrist. Or, if you can afford one, getting a heart rate monitor would be excellent. Having a heart rate monitor, you can see your BPMs while you do your exercises.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Also, please do check with your doctor about your current health and fitness. Better to be safe than sorry, right? (^-^)

My favorite exercise activities are walking, jogging, swimming, and playing tennis. A treadmill is very useful and convenient, especially for the cold months. I recommend spending on a good treadmill, instead of getting those expensive gym memberships.

Remember, eat healthy, exercise properly, and live right! (^-^)
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