If you exercise with correct heart rate, you can lose weight fast. This article discusses how to calculate target heart rate to lose weight.
Regular exercise is the best way to lose weight or to maintain weight. However, in order to know whether the exercises you are performing are helpful to shed those extra pounds or not, you need to find out the target heart rate to burn fat.
Normal and Maximum Heart Rate
The measurement of human heart rate (pulse) helps assess the pumping function of the heart. The normal heart rate of a person is the rate at which his/her heart beats per minute when the person is resting. For children above 10 years and adults, having the heart rate between 60-100 beats per minute (bpm) is considered normal. When the heart pumps blood, the body organs receive sufficient oxygenated blood, and they work efficiently. Athletes, with a toned and conditioned body, exhibit relatively low resting heart rate as with cardiovascular fitness since their heart requires less efforts to pump the required quantity of blood.
During exercise, the pulse rate increases as the heart has to work faster. The organs of the body demand more oxygen, and therefore the heart tries to fulfill the demand, with extra efforts. The working capacity of the heart is limited. If the heart starts beating faster, after a certain limit, the increase in heartbeat can prove to be harmful or even fatal. So, you can find the Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) for yourself by actually measuring it during exercise (treadmill stress testing). MHR is the fastest rate at which your heart can contract in a minute to pump blood without getting damaged. MHR may vary from person to person, and it helps determine the training intensities. The age adjusted formula to measure MHR is:
- MHR for women = 226 – age
- MHR for men = 220 – age
Depending upon various health factors and lifestyle, MHR calculated by the above formula may vary by plus or minus 10-15 bpm. You can calculate your target heart rate with the help of MHR.
Target Heart Rate to Lose Weight
When you exercise at around 50 to 60% of your MHR, you are said to be working with an average, comfortable, or healthy heart rate. You can maintain your weight by working with a healthy heart rate or you can even reduce body fat percentage by working in this healthy zone. If you want to lose considerable weight, you need to work in fitness zone, at about 60 to 70% of your MHR. You can burn fat easily by working in this heart rate zone. So, if you want to lose weight fast, about 60 to 70% of your MHR can be your target heart rate during exercise.
You can burn greater number of calories by working with higher intensity (80-85% MHR). But, you should increase your target heart rate gradually. The ideal heart rate during exercise may vary from person to person. It depends upon the age, gender, weight, lifestyle, and overall health of the person. You may consult your physical trainer and your physician before working in higher target heart rate zone.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.