When you were a child, the importance of exercise was probably stressed by your parents and teachers. Playing, running and other activities made you feel good. As you’ve developed into an adult, it’s harder to find time for exercise. It’s time to prioritize exercise in your life because its effects on your heart are numerous and extremely important. In fact, your heart rate is a measurement that should always be tested as you try new and exciting exercises.
Before you understand the importance of the heart rate, the cardiovascular system’s purpose must be defined. The heart doesn’t just pump blood to the body’s organs. Within the blood is critical oxygen. You take a deep breath and fill the lungs with air. The air molecules move through the lung tissue and into the bloodstream. It’s the heart that keeps the blood and saturated levels of oxygen moving through the body.
Without oxygen constantly supporting your tissues, the brain and other organs would quickly decline. The heart rate is how fast the heart muscle is pumping out volumes of blood to the rest of the body. If you want to be more precise, the heart rate is a reflection of the pulse that’s vibrating through the arteries as the blood rushes around to every tissue.
Aerobic Exercise for Heart Health
Your heart is made up of cardiac muscle. This specialized tissue takes on electrical and neurological signals so that it can pump blood for the entire life of the organism. If you really think about how the heart never stops to take a break, it’s an amazing tissue within the human body.
Taking care of the heart should be your top priority. It’s important to work the heart and raise the heart rate. Remind yourself that the heart is a muscle, which can be exercised just as easily as the biceps or triceps.
When your heart rate increases from a resting state, the muscle is exercising at a more intense rate than before. As a result, the heart gains strength and resiliency through the effort.
The importance of heart rate comes into play when you’re looking to achieve a fitness goal. You may want to run a marathon next year or lose a few pounds. Use your heart rate to know if your exercises are effective enough for these lofty goals.
Your resting heart rate as an adult can range from 60 to 100 BPM or beats per minute. Therefore, your exercises must get your rate higher than this range. Walking at a slow pace, for example, may not give you the exercise that you need. You’re in the area of undertraining, which doesn’t lead to either a better fitness level or lost weight.
You should always be aware of your heart rate because overexerting yourself is possible. This scenario is most common when you’re just starting out on an exercise journey. Try to take your pulse several times during your workout. You should be able to count the beats without any problem.
If your heart rate is too rapid to count, your exercise intensity is too much. Slowing down will help your fitness level. Your body is stressed when it’s overexerted, which leads to dehydration, dizziness and potential sickness. In fact, you won’t gain much from the workout except for possible injuries. Working out within a specific, heart-rate zone should always be the goal.
Knowing Max Heart Rates
Researchers have come up with a simple way to understand your maximum heart rate during exercise. It is possible to overwork the heart, which makes the heart rate a critical tool for your health and fitness success.
Subtract your current age from 220. A 30-year-old person would have a max heart rate of 190 BPM, for instance. You shouldn’t record your heart rate going above that threshold. It keeps you in a safe zone for your age.
This heart rate is a general rule for the public. There are differences when it comes to gender, height and medical issues. However, these factors only influence the measurement in minute amounts. Doctors and fitness instructors believe wholeheartedly in today’s calculated max heart rates.
Being Aware of Fat-Burning Zones
If you know your max heart rate, you might figure that exercising to this point is the goal. Scientists have an alternative that has proven results. They suggest working in your fat-burning zone for an efficient workout.
Your fat-burning zone is approximately 70 percent of your max heart rate. Your 190 BPM max heart rate equates to 133 BPM for the fat-burning zone. The heart rate will fluctuate around this value, but it’s a smart goal to shoot for during any workout.
This zone gets your heart going, but without too much strain. The body sees the exercise as a challenge, and it responds by burning fat reserves.
Calculating Vigorous Activity Rates
Some people enjoy the challenge of training for a marathon or other fitness goal. Part of their workouts is incredibly intense. Vigorous activity equates to a heart rate that’s at about 85 percent of the max heart rate. Most people can’t sustain this activity level for too long.
HIIT or high-intensity interval training programs have gained attention in the past few years. They mix vigorous activity with a high, heart rate and moderate exercises. By straining the heart and body in controlled intervals, weight loss and a healthier cardiovascular system are possible.
Anyone working out at this pace, however, should be advised by their doctors. Accelerated heart rates can be too straining for certain people.
Examining Heart Rate and Weight-Loss Relationships
Your heart rate is directly related to weight-loss possibilities. Exercising within the proper range is the key. If you decide to workout at a vigorous level, the body responds by pulling energy reserves from the most convenient places. Sugars and carbohydrates become your fuel.
Exercise within the fat-burning zone, however, and the body has a chance to burn fat deposits. It’s this zone where you’ll lose the most weight. Some people find it fascinating that the most effort given to your workout isn’t necessarily the smartest way to lose weight. You only need to reach 70 percent of your max heart rate to really see a weight-loss difference.
Choosing the Exercise
Remind yourself of your goals during exercise. They dictate where your heart rate should be as you achieve those goals. Most people look for a combination of fitness improvements and weight loss. Working in the fat-burning zone is the best strategy here.
There’s no need to put your body through a high-impact workout when you’re closely monitoring your heart rate. Try a brisk walk or challenging yourself with an uphill workout. Running or biking aren’t really necessary unless you want to develop those skills. Exercising with your heart rate in mind can give you the freedom to exercise at a solid pace without wearing yourself out.
Measuring Heart Rate on the Fly
You may be sold on the importance of measuring your heart rate, but gaining that knowledge is a bit difficult. Taking your pulse by hand is possible, although it’s not as precise as other methods.
Try a cardiovascular machine at the gym. Most of these machines have sensors where you grab on and see the current, heart rate. Use these sensors as a way to guide your workout. You may be surprised at the level of effort necessary to achieve your heart-rate goals. These machines are usually accurate because of their calibration required by the manufacturer.
Purchasing Fitness Bracelets
A trend that’s been growing in popularity is wearing fitness bracelets. Tiny sensors hidden within a bracelet tell your smartphone or another device about your heart rate and other vital signs. In some cases, alerts might be set up so that you can know when you’ve hit your heart-rate goal. You don’t have to think about the rate anymore.
Be sure to look at the fitness bracelet’s 24-hour data each day. It’s good to know if you’ve exercised enough in a day for the proper rate to be achieved. Compare it to the machines for verification purposes too. Knowing your heart rate most of the day is a great way to stay healthy and fit.
Understanding Medication Influences
Another major reason why the heart rate is such an important part of your workout is possible influences from medications. If you have a chronic condition, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol issues, medication is often a daily part of life. Side effects from your medication might include accelerated heart rates.
Pay attention to your heart rate as you move through an exercise program. If the rate seems too high, consider your medication’s influence. It may be necessary to change the medication or the exercise intensity in order to have a healthy workout every time.
Knowing When to Stop
Be aware of your heart rate during a workout so that you know when to stop. Some people get incredibly enthusiastic about their workouts. They continue on at a record pace. This scenario isn’t necessarily good for the heart.
If you’re staying within the safe zone of your target heart rate, the workout can be extended for quite some time. You might set an alert on your fitness tracker in order to stop yourself from overexertion, for example. Technology can make nearly any workout safer than before.
Mixing up the Exercise
If you pay attention to your heart rate over time, you’ll notice differences as you go about each workout. The heart rate might reach a plateau with exercises that you perform on a regular basis. Your body gets used to those movements and efforts.
Try a variation on your normal workout and watch the heart rate change. The exercise will be new to the body. Your heart rate might rise faster and stay higher than before. As long as you don’t pass the max heart rate, this exercise change is extremely helpful to the body. You’re exercising the heart muscle and strengthening it.
An irregular heartbeat is often a concern for people who are entering their later years. Paying attention to your heart rate makes a difference for these individuals. Unusual counts and aberrations within the heart rate might prompt people to visit their doctors. An irregular heartbeat can be treated, but many people don’t realize that they have an issue until a medical situation arises.
Get familiar with your heart rate during each workout. If the numbers seem to vary in unusual ways, be proactive and get an evaluation. Taking care of your heart also includes rest and testing procedures.
Improving the Oxygen Flow to Tissues
Being aware of your heart rate during exercise means that you’ll look to targeted zones to reach your goal. In fact, weight loss and better fitness are easier to achieve with calculated results in mind. As a result of your efforts, your body responds by using oxygen more efficiently than before.
Oxygen dissolves and reaches the surrounding tissues with ease. Your organs end up with ample oxygen and nutrients at the same time. A healthy body will persist long after your last workout.
Examining the Aging Factor
You calculated your heart-rate ranges. Working out seems easier and more fun by the minute. Don’t forget to recalculate your rates as your next birthday comes and goes. Every year, your targeted heart rates will decrease in value. Subtracting your age from 220 creates a smaller number each year.
Apply the new rates to your workouts so that you’re always in a safe zone. If your body is accustomed to exercising each week, the changes won’t be too drastic. Your heart rate is important at every age.
Heart disease is one of the most common ailments that afflict society today. Change those statistics by paying attention to your heart rate and exercise intensity. By working your heart like the muscle that it is, the tissue can stand the test of time. Appreciate your heart and the work it does as you enjoy life to the fullest.