To calculate your Zone One and your Interval Zone enter your age and resting heart rate (right). Click on “calculate” for the results. If swimming is your aerobic workout, change the setting by clicking on the circle.
Resting Heart rate
To use the zone calculator to determine your training zones, you must know your resting heart rate. A true resting heart rate is taken first thing in the morning, upon waking — before you get out of bed. Place your heart rate monitor on the nightstand beside your bed. Upon waking: sit up; put on your monitor; lie back down and relax as though you are going back to sleep; observe your heart rate. Use the lowest number that you saw. If you don’t have your monitor yet, you can take a manual pulse on your neck for 60 seconds. Use a clock or watch placed by the side of the bed. Resting heart rate is an indication of how fit your heart is. Many factors can influence your heart rate including amount of sleep, stress, digestion of meat or large meals, alcohol, some medications, nicotine, and hydration. Try taking your resting heart rate on different mornings to find the average for the calculator. Once you have implemented some of the Turnaround changes, you will start to see your heart rate go down.
How important is heart rate specific exercise?
Exercising at the correct level of intensity is essential. Exercise too hard and you speed up the aging process, risk injury and exhaustion or you get tired and stop exercising altogether. On the other hand, if you don’t work out hard enough, you may not get the results you want. The best way to measure intensity is to monitor your heart rate as you exercise.
“Working in the appropriate training zone makes it easier to exercise for a sufficient period of time and to continue with an effective exercise program for weight loss or cardiovascular fitness,” said James Skinner, Ph.D., Indiana University, and a member of the Life Fitness Academy Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. If you have a very low level of fitness or haven’t exercised in a long time, 55 percent of your maximum heart rate may be an effective place to begin your workouts, but a more conditioned person should work closer to 70 percent of their maximum heart rate. How do you know what that zone is? Your Zone One is a calculation that is 55 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Staying in that zone will assure you results starting today. The formula in the calculator uses your age and resting heart rate (an indicator or your fitness level) to determine your target zones. It’s a more personalized prescription than some of the basic formulas that use maximum heart rate only.
The only way to know that you are constantly in that zone is to wear a heart rate monitor, which includes a chest strap and a wristwatch type receiver. The strap picks up your heart rate and the receiver displays the result, giving you moment to moment feedback about your workout. No wires, no taking your pulse and doing a multiplication equation. Just look at your wrist for an EKG accurate heart rate.
Some of the leading cardio equipment manufacturers of treadmills, bikes, and cross trainers, such as Life Fitness typically offer features on their equipment that measure your heart rate as well. Life Fitness allows you to wear your heart rate monitoring strap and the machine’s console will display your heart rate (just like your wrist receiver would). The equipment also automatically adjusts the level of resistance to keep your heart rate at the chosen level.