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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tri-Valley Target Practice

The heart is an amazing muscle, as any Pleasanton personal trainer will tell you. We know it beats and pumps blood through the body. We know it's necessary for life. But do we know how to keep it strong and make sure our workout is supporting a healthy heart? When working out alone or with your Tri-Valley personal trainer, try to push yourself to reach your target heart rate. But how do you know what that is and ensure that you are doing your cardiovascular workout within that range? Its simple!

First, make the time to find out what your resting heart rate is. This can be done first thing in the morning when you are well-rested and relaxed. To be as accurate as possible, monitor your resting heart rate several consecutive mornings in a row and take the average.

The next step may seem odd but is very simple: subtract your current age from 220. The number you end up with is known as your maximum heart rate. This number is very important because your target heart rate ought to be approximately sixty to eighty percent of your maximum heart rate. Once you have your maximum heart rate, subtract your resting heart rate from that number; this figure is known as your heart rate reserve.

Next you want to determine what 60% and 80% of your target heart rate. To do this, multiply your maximum heart rate by 60% [or .6] and add your resting heart rate to find the lower 60% and then multiply your maximum heart rate by 80% [or .8] and add your resting heart rate to find the lower 80%. Combine these two numbers and then divide by 2.  This average is your target heart rate.

So what does all this mean?  With all of these numbers it can get very confusing!  The target heart rate basically represents how fast your heart should be beating as you exercise and work toward your fat loss goals.  So, when you hear your Pleasanton personal trainer say that you need to work out for 30 minutes a day, keep in mind that the 30 minutes need to be while you are in your target heart rate.

But why would anyone spend so much time trying to get this number?  You may be wondering what difference it makes.  Well, to make it plain, when you are in your target heart rate zone, you know that your heart is pumping quickly, but you are not over exerting yourself.  And the heart will, logically, beat more times during the period you exercise in your target heart rate as opposed to when you are at a resting heart rate.  And the more beats the heart gets in, the stronger it gets.  In fact, it will add on to one’s longevity in addition to your quality of life.  In short, you are adding time on to your life when you work out in your target heart rate.  So start monitoring and have fun!

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