Basics on Heart Rate and Exercise

At Dr. Simonds Weight Loss Clinic, we’re proud to offer physician supervised weight loss programs that can show major results for many people. Our weight management program has helped numerous individuals lose significant weight, plus feel better about themselves and be healthier in an overall sense.

One important part of any weight loss exercise program is heart rate, which can go a long way to guiding you toward the proper levels of exercise for your goals. What areas of heart rate should you be considering when exercising, and how can you monitor it? Let’s take a look.

Heart Rate Basics

For any weight loss program, cardio exercise will be an important factor. Heart rate is a huge part of maximizing cardio, and this depends on two specific factors:

  • Maximum heart rate: Calculated as about 220 minus your total age, the maximum heart rate is just a benchmark to keep in mind. A 40-year-old person would have a max heart rate of 180, for instance. Once you know that figure, your target heart rate zone will be about 75 to 85 percent of that number – this is called the “fat burning zone.”
  • Exercise intensity levels: Once you achieve your target heart rate, knowing how long to hold it to get great results is the next step. That’s where intensity levels come in.

Interval Training

When it comes to intensity levels, it’s actually been found that it’s better to vary this up during the same session when weight loss is your goal. This is called interval training, which involves doing short spurts of high-intensity activity followed by longer periods of low-intensity exercise.

During your low or moderate sections, your heart rate should be at about 50-70 percent of its max heart rate, and then during the intense sections it should be closer to 75-85 percent. Studies have shown that interval training is a much more efficient way to burn body fat in a shorter period of time.

Monitoring Heart Rate

Monitoring your heart rate during exercise is simple and cheap. Most cardio machines have basic heart rate sensors, and wearable fitness trackers can keep track of this as well as the calories you’re burning.

For more on heart rate and weight loss, or to learn more about any part of our weight management program, contact the experts at Dr. Simonds Weight Loss today.