Using Target Heart Rate for Weight Loss

Throughout your life, your heart is going to work for you and hopefully not against you. When you are working out to lose weight, you should pay particular attention to your target heart rate range. This will not only help you burn calories more efficiently when you exercise, but it will more importantly help keep you healthy for a longer and more active life.

Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is the rate at which your body is actually burning the most calories for your physical effort.

When you have been living a rather inactive lifestyle and you want to start working out, regardless of what your target heart rate range may be you should start out slowly. You do not want to jump in and overdue it with exercise right away or you could damage your heart and your health. That is why those who have a lot of weight to lose or who have been living a very sedentary life should start out slowly by going walking or doing other simple cardio exercises before they get into more intense workouts. Weight Loss Center has an excellent article about this – “Exercising When Overweight” – definitely give it a read.

So what is your target heart rate and why is it important for weight loss? Your target heart rate is the rate at which your body is actually burning the most calories for your physical effort. For this reason, the target heart rate range is also referred to as the Fat Burning Zone or Calorie Burning Zone. Exercising at an intensity that keeps your heart rate in this range for an extended period of time is ideal for burning optimal calories. However, exercising within your target heart rate range should be only one aspect of well-rounded exercise program that also includes lower-intensity activities and muscle toning. For further discussion about this, please read the article “Exercise Routine that Maximizes Weight Loss”.

Finding out what your target heart rate range is can be done very easily, either by using a Target Heart Rate Calculator or you can ask your doctor to calculate it for you. Your target heart rate is based on what your resting heart rate is and your age.

As I mentioned above, if you are just starting out with an exercise program then start out with lower-intensity workouts and build up from there. In other words, you should not aim to exercise within your target heart rate until you are in better physical shape. As a general rule of thumb to ensure you are not exerting yourself too hard when exercising, you should be able to hold a conversation with someone or sing a tune. If you find that you are breathless and can’t talk or carry a tune then slow down your pace.

This past summer I finally felt fit enough to start exercising in my target heart rate zone. To do this I calculated my target heart rate range and bought a heart rate monitor that fit on my wrist. This gave me the ability to easily see what my heart rate was during exercise, which was very useful. The exercise I found best for achieving my target heart rate was doing intervals, or interval training, at the local outdoor track. I would jog slowly for about 2 minutes then push myself to a fast paced jog for one minute, which elevated my heart rate into the target zone. I would repeat this at least 20 times. I was always exhausted after this workout, but I also noticed the most weight loss in the days following.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Best Low-Impact Cardio Machines for Weight Loss” and “Fat Burning Exercises”.

1 comment to Using Target Heart Rate for Weight Loss

  • That’s a good workout. And, If you’re doing 20 repeats of an intense interval, you’re in some great shape. I’m not suprised you lost a lot of weight on that program. 50 minute runs will burn a lot of calories and if you up the intesity the way you did, you’re like a caloric furnace.

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