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Heart Rates To Aim For On Your Treadmill For Specific Athletic Goals

Posted on 2016-03-08

It’s easy to get on a treadmill, put in your 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, and not really think about whether your workout is intense enough to get you to your fitness goals. Here is where the value of measuring your heart rate comes into play. Using your age, desired outcome, and current physical condition, you can determine what heart rate zone is best for you.

1. Figure out your resting heart rate

Your resting heart rate is determined by the number of times your heart beats every second. A great way to calculate it is by taking your pulse for ten seconds and then multiplying it by six. Be sure to do this first thing in the morning or after any long resting period to catch the rate without other variables. After a few months of training, you should notice a drop in your resting heart rate.

2. Find your maximum heart rate

As your age increases, your heart rate decreases. Your maximum heart rate (MHR) can be calculated as such: 220 - your age (in years)= MHR.

3. Find the right heart rate zone

Heart rate for your warm-up

Always start your cardio workout with a warm-up. Calculate the warm up zone by dividing your max heart rate in half. Heart rates at this point should be below 50 percent of your maximum.

Heart rate for fat burning

Studies suggest you can begin burning fat around 50 percent of your maximum heart rate. However, peak maximal fat oxidation happens between 60 percent and 80 percent of your maximum. If your goal is to burn fat and you are new to your exercise routine, try to get your heart rate to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. Gradually increase the rate over time. If burning fat is your goal, consider doing cardio on the treadmill at least four times a week.

Heart rate for cardiovascular fitness

For greatest improvements in cardiovascular health, your heart rate should range between 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Ideally, after 6 months of training you should aim for the 70-80 percent range. At this higher range in the cardiovascular zone, the body improves its ability to transport oxygenated blood to muscles. Carbon dioxide created from metabolic processes is also more efficiently removed from the cells.

Heart rate for endurance sports training

When training at heart rates over 80 percent, metabolism becomes anaerobic. Lactic acid builds up in the blood stream, and not enough oxygen gets to the muscles. Occasional training in this zone can increase the lactate threshold. A high lactate or anaerobic threshold is said to be the main predictor of performance in endurance sports.