The heart is the most vital muscle in your body, so improving its strength and condition is an ultimate fitness goal. But do you know how your heart rate affects your workouts?
When you’re working hard to be fit, it can be truly helpful to know if you’re training in a beginner or warm-up zone, an aerobic heart rate zone, or an anaerobic zone so you can build muscle more efficiently. And if your exercise is focused on keeping your heart healthy, you might like to know how your cardiovascular system is working, recovering and supporting your goals.
You can learn all this with the right heart rate monitor (HRM) and an understanding of how to use the information they collect to guide your workouts. You can keep your heart rate lower to help burn fat or pace yourself for a longer workout, or perhaps you’ll want to push it higher for different health benefits, like building stamina.
Heart Rate 101
How many heartbeats in a minute? That’s your heart rate — your resting rate is when you’re not moving, the maximum rate means it can’t beat any faster or harder than that. A heart rate zone is a range that indicates how much your heart is working based on a percentage of the maximum rate, which will vary according to your age, health, fitness level and more.
If you are new to an activity that places moderate demands on the heart (like cardio) or if you have any related health conditions, it’s a good idea to monitor your heart rate. Likewise, your heart rate zone could be one key to making great gains while training for a competitive event.
For our workouts, we commonly refer to five heart rate zones:
Warm-up: 50% – 60% of maximum heart rate—starting point
Fitness Training: 60% – 70% of maximum heart rate—“fat-burning”
Endurance Training: 70% – 80% of maximum heart rate–challenging
Performance Training: 80% – 90% of maximum heart rate—very intense
Maximum Effort: 90% – 100% of maximum heart rate – can be dangerous
Be Fit with a HRM
Since it’s possible to maximize the effects of exercise by wearing an HRM, we often recommend choosing one as an accessory that you can conveniently wear on your wrist. Even better when you connect to a fitness app through your Android™ phone or iPhone.
At XSport, we have a great selection of Heart Rate Monitors from Polar® — feel free to ask us about the model that might be best for you!
M600 – Android Wear™ Smartwatch
M430 – Sports and Running Watch
A370 – Fitness Tracker
|Highlights: Android Wear fitness apps, accurate heart rate at the wrist, running tracker GPS, long battery life, low profile.||Highlights: Advanced running watch with wrist-based heart rate and GPS, easy to use, great battery life.||Highlights: Heart rate, speed and distance tracker, can pair with third party apps and Polar Smart Coaching.|