Have you been trying to lose weight but are having a difficult time? You run, walk, elliptical, and lift weight yet nothing budges. Let’s talk about your heart rate and how it relates to exercise, weight loss, and interval training.
Everybody has a resting heart rate – which is the number of beats per minute. If you want to check yours, feel your pulse and count it out in 60 seconds. The average resting rate is 60-90 beats per minute. The more physically fit you are, the lower your rate. Your heart rate adjusts accordingly depending on need. During exercise and times of stress/anxiety, your rate increases to get oxygen dispersed more quickly to your tissues. While sleeping or resting it should drop back down.
Other than exercise or anxiety, your heart rate can increase for other reasons. If it goes above 100 beats per minute it is called tachycardia and may be from dehydration, infections, hyperthyroid, certain drugs/medications, fever, stimulants such as caffeine, and blood loss.
When exercising, it’s important to maintain your target heart rate for weight loss purposes. There are a few different methods for determining your numbers however the most commonly accepted formula is as follows:
For 65% intensity: (220 – your age) x 0.65 = ?
For 85% intensity: (220 – your age) x 0.85 = ?
If you are new to exercise or not quite as fit as you would like to be, stay at the 65% intensity. If you are more fit, stay at 85% intensity.
Ideally, you should spend a few minutes warming up before maintaining your target heart rates for at least 30 minutes. This means checking your pulse while working out or using a heart rate monitor purchased at any sporting goods store.
Another form of exercise that has shown incredible weight loss promise is called interval training. This means changing your workout pace every 30 to 120 seconds and varying your heart rate between 65% intensity and 85% intensity.
Warm up for 5 minutes
Do your 65% intensity for 2 minutes
Ramp up to 85% intensity for 30 seconds
Drop down to 65% intensity for 2 minutes