As the winter days get shorter and the holiday pies get bigger, sticking to exercise goals gets more difficult, but it’s never been more important to stick to a plan. Your heart rate can be a powerful tool providing you leverage in achieving those goals, so now is a good time to review what it means and how to utilize it.
But first things first: the initial step in achieving a goal is actually making a goal, writing it down and giving it a deadline.
DC Fit Crasher Meaghan Stakelin says “sometimes an impending deadline is just the motivation you need to get going.”
So now that you have a goal, here is a great chart that shows how managing your heart rate can help you get there.
This table divides your heart rate into four zones, each based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate use this simple formula –
Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – age in years
Fat Burning Zone
At the low end is the Fat-Burning Zone. Of course your body will burn some fat in all of the zones, but many experts say this zone is the best for getting rid of that unwanted mass and losing those holiday pounds.
So, if your primary goal is to lose weight, then staying in this zone—at lower than 60 percent of your max heart rate—is a great way to get there.
Tip: Go on a workout date. Anne Mauney, a registered dietitian and runner, says “Knowing I have someone to meet makes my workout way more fun and means I can’t bail—win-win.”