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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Heart Rate Zones: Fitness & Health Benefits

There is a lot of talk about Heart Rate and Target Heart Rate. Is it really important? It's important to know based on your specific goals. It is very important is to understand that any exercise including aerobic exercise should be both challenging and above your comfort zone. There is so much nonsense talk about fat burning zones that the focus on burning excess energy consumption is lost. You will almost always see some kind of colorful graph on cardiovascular equipment showing that certain heart rate levels will have you in a fat burning mode and so forth. Without truly understanding all the facts these charts are really of no use. These charts should be used as a general guide to predict the right intensity along with health history and exercise history considerations. I have provided a chart I found on Pinterest to help you determine these intensities but it should be used as a general guide rather than a specific guide.
In general, performing exercises in the 'fat burning zone' may be more idea for bodybuilders who want to reap the benefits of exercise and burn fat without expending too much energy which could be better utilized in high intensity feats of weightlifting. An individual with poor fitness levels and little to no exercise history should stay closer to the 60 - 70% target heart rate zones and gradually build up to the higher 80 - 90% zones as fitness levels improve. The biggest mistakes in any fitness program is to do too much to soon or too little to long. You can't exercise in your comfort zone and expect to improve much if at all. It's best to follow some form of periodization model which is adjusted regularly based on your improvements as well as any unfortunate circumstances which may temporarily hinder your regular exercise activity. 

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