Fitness Tip: Listen to your Heart, It will tell you how Hard you are Working
Sage Springs Club's own Personal Trainer, Jason Kern, shares his tips on meeting your fitness goals. This month's focus is on monitoring your activity. Sage Springs Club and Spa in Sunriver, Oregon features all of the cardio, circuit and weight equipment and fitness rooms and classes to help you meet your goals. Monitoring your heart rate while using the equipment or while you're out running and biking the scenic trails in Central Oregon is key.
Aerobic conditioning is the ability of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. It involves the ability to persist in activities, such as elliptical training, walking, jogging, and cycling. Improved aerobic endurance is associated with increased health and reduced risk of chronic disease, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.
To experience the health benefits of aerobic endurance training, you should participate in prolonged aerobic exercise (eventually reaching 20 to 60 minutes of continuous training) at an intensity (or level) that stimulates the aerobic system. Fortunately, if you are a beginner who has been inactive for a long time, you can start with 5 to 10 minutes of aerobic exercise and still get aerobic health benefits. The intensity of aerobic exercise (or how hard you work) is simple to determine if you know how to measure your heart rate and if you pay attention to how you feel during a workout.
Measuring Heart Rate
The measurement of heart rate, or pulse, is represented in beats per minute (bpm). To assess heart rate, place your fingertips on either the radial or carotid pulse site. If you choose to take your pulse at the carotid side, avoid putting heavy pressure on the carotid arteries because they contain receptors that sense increases in pressure and respond by slowing the heart rate.
To determine the number of beats per minute, take the pulse rate, counting the first pulse beat as zero, for 10 seconds and then multiply by six.
Target Heart Rate
The rate at which your heart beats during exercise can be used to assess how hard you are working. When performing light to moderate exercise, your heart rate increases as your work rate increases. This ensures that blood gets to the muscles so that they can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to continue working. Being able to measure your heart rate allows you to determine aerobic exercise intensity by taking your pulse during the workout and comparing it to your target heart rate. A common method to determine your target heart rate is based on a percentage of your estimated maximum heart rate. Input your age in the prompt below and the calculator will produce a range in which to keep your heart rate during aerobic exercise.
Source: ACE Fitnews