Understanding Heart Rate Zones for Best Work Out Results
What is a heart rate?
Your heart rate is quite simply how many times per minute your heart pumps blood around your body. There are three heart rate indicators – resting, maximum & recovery.
Why is it important to understand heart rate zones when working out?
Understanding heart rate zones allows you to train more efficiently and to the best of your ability. With so much technology available to us in the form of fitness trackers and mobile phones health apps, you can monitor your own heart rate during exercise to see just how much you are putting into (and therefore getting out of) each time you complete and workout.
What is Resting Heart Rate?
Resting heart rate is the heart rate when you are literally doing nothing. Your resting heart rate can be a good indicator of your fitness level as well as general health.
What factors can influence RHR?
Different factors can influence this measure, for example stress, weather, physical activity, caffeine, hormones, pregnancy, time of the day, among others. That’s why it should be measured in the morning directly after waking up – even before standing up.
Tracking your resting heart rate can prevent you from over exhausting your body and becoming sick. On average it is said that untrained athletes have a resting (HR) of 60-80 beats per minute (bpm) whereas trained athletes’ resting heart rate is more likely to be between 40-50 bpm.
What is Maximum Heart Rate?
Maximum heart rate is the maximum number of beats your heart can beat per minute. Maximum heart rate is an indication of exhaustion both physically and mentally.
As a rough indication, you can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 45 years old, subtract 45 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 175. This is the average maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.
Calculating your optimus heart rate for your age and fitness level can be quite daunting, but determining your target heart rate zone is vital for the success of your training.
What is Recovery heart rate?
Your recovery heart rate is an indicator of your general fitness – reflects how fast the heart is able to return to it’s normal level after physical activity. In the case of lower intensity the heart rate goes back to normal relatively fast, while it takes longer to recover from high intensity. This is due to the body’s ability to deal with an occurring lack of oxygen.
Knowing your own personal heart rate stats means that you can push your body to its max and get the most out of every exercise session you partake in.