Fit Friday: Heart Rate Monitors

Published 03/22 2013 05:40AM

Updated 03/29 2013 04:16AM

   Your heart rate is the same as your pulse, measured in beats per minute. The first thing you'll need to know is your maximum. Multiply your age by 0.7 and subtract that number from 207. Anything above that can be dangerous.

   But to reap the benefits of exercise, you'll need to reach at least a quarter of that number. Start with a good warm up. Slowly raising your heart rate will help you sustain your pace later on. Then, work your way up to about half of your max.


    OSF Exercise Specialist Brad Harper says, "If you're between 0.5 and 0.7 of your max heartr ate zone, that's kind of, I like to call it the endurance phase. So that's when you get on there and you feel like you can kind of run forever. You kind of hit your stride and you can just go."


   Harper recommends staying in this zone for twenty minutes to a half an hour.

This will help build cardiovascular endurance and get you into the 'fat burning' zone.

If you're training for an event, now is the time to bump your heartrate up a little higher.


   OSF Exercise Specialist Brad Harper says, "Between that 0.7 and 0.85, that's, I like to call it, the performance zone. So it's going to be higher intensity, you're not going to be able to last as long. But you're going to increase your performance, so if you're doing races or stuff like that's where you're going to be able to start building speed."

What about going above eighty five percent? That's generally reserved for athletes.


    OSF Exercise Specialist Brad Harper says, "That's going to be for those short bursts of speed if you're doing strength training, if you're doing sprinting. You can go in that zone, but you're not going to want to stay in there long. If you stay in there too long, it can be very dangerous"

Remember, these numbers are just for the average person. Factors like age, medications, and overall health will impact your allowable maximum.

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