How to calculate your optimal training heart zone....
To achieve cardiovascular benefits it is recommended that you exercise at an intensity that is in your Training Heart Rate Zone. If you want to lose weight and or improve your physiological components you need to exercise at the proper intensity. Exercise intensity can be measured by checking your heart rate, respiration rate, or perceived exertion. There are several ways to determine you optimal training zone. You can use the Talk Test, Perceived Exertion, THR charts, or the Karvonen Formula.
The talk test is one of the easiest ways to determine your intensity. If you can carry on a normal conversation while you are walking you may need to increase the intensity to achieve cardiovascular benefits and burn more calories. You should be somewhat breathless but not gasping for air. THR Charts are convenient, but not as accurate as using the Karvonen Formula.Perceived Exertion Charts are helpful to determine if you are working hard enough or not. With this method you subjectively identify the level you feel you are working at. Please see chart below. THR Charts are usually calculated using your age and percent intensity based on your estimated fitness level. This method does not take into consideration your resting heart rate or VO2max which can be a better indicator of fitness level. The Karvonen Formula is more accurate because it incorporates your resting heart rate into the calculations. To determine your true resting heart rate check your pulse three mornings in a row and take the average.
The formula is: 220 – your age –your resting heart X percent intensity you wish to work at + your resting heart. You can divide the final number by 6 to get your 10second pulse.
Beginners should exercise using 45%-55%intermediate fitness levels should use 60% - 75% and advanced can use80% -95%.
It is best to palpate your pulse on your wrist. Use your two middle fingers. Slide our fingers along the thumb and feel the pulse in the groove by your tendon. If you have trouble feeling your pulse, tip your wrist back so the artery is more prevalent.
Consult a member of the Wellness Team for more tips on exercises that are best for you.