Medical studies have shown that while exercising, most people burn the most fat in proportion to total calories burned during the workout at around 60-70% of their maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate varies according to your age, and it decreases as you get older. To find your maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220, or 226 if you are a woman. To calculate the heart rate that you should aim for to get into your optimal fat burning zone, multiply that number by .6 and .7 to find the range that you should be aiming for during your workouts.
Your heart rate will vary over the course of your workout, depending on how hard you are working out. For your warm-up, you should be aiming to get your heart rate up to about 50-60% of your maximum heart rate for several minutes prior to beginning your workout. While exercising to get your heart rate close to your maximum burns a lot of calories, you should not attempt to exert yourself that strenuously unless you are already in good shape, and you should not keep your heart rate at this level for more than short periods.
The best method to test your heart rate during a workout is to use a heart rate monitor, and most models attach with a band around your upper arm. The advantage of using a heart rate monitor is that it tests your heart rate continuously during your workout, and you can store data in the device to see how you are progressing in improving your fitness level. Some models even allow you to download the information into your computer and keep track of how many calories you burned during the workout. Some gym equipment may have a heart rate monitor attached that you can use by grasping the area on the machine with your palms, but these imbedded monitors are not as accurate or as helpful in providing data as a personal heart rate monitor.
Another method of keeping track of your heart rate is to pause briefly during your workout and check your pulse. Simply place your index and middle finger on your neck, count how many heart beats occur during 15 seconds, and multiply that number by 4 to find out how your heart rate in beats per minute. For a more accurate measurement of your heart rate, you can count how many beats occur during a full minute using your watch or the timer on the gym equipment. Checking your heart rate during your warmup, several times during your workout, and when you are ready to finish your cool down can help you make sure that you are in the correct zone for optimal fitness, fat burning, and weight loss.
A fitness professional can help you attain the knowledge and motivation to achieve all your fitness goals in a smart and safe way. To set up a consultation or sign up for a session, contact Achieve Fitness at www.achieve-fitness.com today.
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