Exercise Heart Rate

When I started working out in high school, I absolutely hated it. I thought that working out was so hard and miserable. It wasn't until I took one of my first exercise science classes in college that I learned that I had been going about things the wrong way. I realized that I had always been pushing myself too hard when I worked out. My heart rate would be about 190 bpm. I assumed that if I wasn't pushing myself as hard as I could then I wasn't getting a good enough workout. Of course, that is so untrue. Once I figured out how high my heart rate needed to be in order to get a sufficient cardio workout, I actually started to enjoy exercising. I stopped pushing myself to the point of feeling sick. 

So how do you know the heart rate you should be aiming for? It's not too difficult to calculate. Here are the steps:

Determine your maximum heart rate using the following equation:
So for me my maximum heart rate is estimated to be 220 - 22 = 198

Decide whether you want to focus on burning fat or getting a cardiovascular work out.

You will need to reach 60-70% of your maximum heart rate
For me: 198 x 0.6 = 119 bpm                      198 x 0.7 = 139 bpm
My fat burning range is 119-139 bpm

You will need to reach 70-80% of your maximum heart rate
For me: 198 x 0.8 = 158 bpm
My cardio range is 139-158 bpm

You will need to reach 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. If you are doing high intensity exercise you should only be doing it for 10-20 minutes. 
For me: 198 x 0.9 = 179 bpm
My high intensity range is 158-178 bpm

As you can see, when I was hitting heart rates in the 190s, my heart rate was way too high. In fact, I used to occasionally get migraines after I would work out like this. Not fun.

While it would be a lot easier to do fat burning workouts all the time, it is better for your overall health to also perform cardio work outs. You can still burn fat with a cardio workout but fats just won't be the primary fuel source for this type of exercise.

My Weight Loss Update
The last time I updated was about a month ago. I was 134 lb
I'm now down to 131 lb. It's been an up and down month but I've still gotten good results!
I'm still doing P90x for a few days each week and I'm being more careful about what I eat.
I'm about 1 lb away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I would still like to reach 125 lb as this was what I weighed a few months before I got pregnant


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