HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR HEART RATE AND ENTER THE FAT-BURNING ZONE
A lot of people believe that the only way to burn more body fat is by working out harder, but that’s not true. Actually, fat burning happens at a much lesser intensity than we think. This implies that even though you’re working out real hard and sweating profusely in a gym, you might not actually be losing fat. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to discover the perfect spot where your body starts to burn fat during your workout.
With recent advancements in wearable technology, cardio equipment and smartphone apps, it is now easier to monitor your heart rate while performing a workout. With your watch, you can calculate how fast your heart beats during a workout session. You can also do that with a chest strap.
Since you can now access all these data with ease, you need to decide how best to use them. Generally, your heart rate intensifies as your workout gets more difficult. So, the first thing to do when monitoring heart rate is to measure the magnitude of your workout. Nonetheless, this method may not always give you an accurate result. For instance, your heart rate is greater when you exercise in a hot environment compared to a cold one. Additionally, your heart rate will also be greater when you’re still breathing heavily.
Discovering Your Fat-burning Zone
Every individual has a particular heart rate zone, where majority of the fat burning occurs. If you remain below this zone, you’re just minimizing your chances of burning fat. If you surpass this zone, you’ll only be dissipating the energy you’ve gotten from food and not eliminating body fat. You may be shocked to hear that the intensity level is quite low, and you should focus on exercising a bit longer at that lower intensity.
*Max Heart Rate = 220 – your age x .66
A 2017 study published in the Chinese Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that the method below is the most reliable way to estimate max heart rate without the aid of technology.
To monitor your heart rate while working out, begin by calculating your maximum heart rate. Firstly, multiply your age by .66. After that, deduct that number from 220 and you have your approximated max heart rate. For instance, if you’re 30 years old, your maximum heart rate should be around 200. After you discover your max heart rate, you can measure heart rate zones. These zones were created to guide you and give you a clue of how to work during your workout session. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is advisable to maintain 64–76% of your max heart rate for moderate-intensity activity in your fat-burning zone.
Endurance athletes who don’t want to exert a lot of energy should remain in this range. Several weightlifting workouts also fall under this category. For a 30 year-old with a max heart rate of almost 200, the range would be somewhere around 128–152 beats per minute.