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Monitoring heart rate during aerobic exercise can help you lose weight faster.
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Monitoring your heart rate is an effective way to maximize the cardiovascular benefits of your workout and burn calories. Using a heart rate monitor is a quick, easy and reliable mechanism to ensure you're working out in your desired heart rate zone and maintaining the most productive heart rate. But remember, in order to lose weight, your calorie intake must be lower than the calories burned during your exercise routine.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
According to MayoClinic.com, you should aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise. They also recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day. They further define moderate intensity exercise as 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, and vigorous intensity exercise as 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Calculating Target Heart Rate
To calculate your target heart rate, you first need to find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For a 25 year old, the maximum heart rate would be 220 minus 25, or 195 beats per minute. An appropriate moderate-intensity exercise level for a 25 year old would be calculated by multiplying 195 by 0.50 and 0.70 for a range of 97 to 136 beats per minute. Vigorous exercise intensity targets a higher heart rate of 70 to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate, which also burns more calories per minute of activity. A heart rate of 136 to 165 would be the target for a 25 year old for vigorous-intensity exercise.
Heart Rate Monitors
Heart rate should always be monitored during exercise to ensure you are maintaining the desired level. Resting even one minute can dramatically reduce your heart rate and give you an inaccurate measure of your workout intensity. There are many varieties of heart rate monitors that can be worn during exercise. All of them will provide you with constant feedback on your heart rate level and can be checked frequently throughout your session to make sure you are maintaining the appropriate level and not slacking off on your routine when you are distracted by other gym goers or the television.
Always check with your health care provider prior to initiating any exercise routine. Monitor your medication use; some medicines can blunt the heart rate response. Ask your physician for other means to gauge your workout intensity if any of your medications pose this side effect. Stop exercising and seek medical care if you experience chest pain, sudden shortness of breath or unexplained pain that does not immediately resolve with rest.