Heart Rate Zone Training 101

More people than ever are looking to exercise for better levels of health, as well as to combat many common health concerns. Even people who have no history of fitness are making the effort. A great way to start is with an understanding of heart rate zone training. This tool allows customization of workouts, goal setting, and visibility of progress toward goals. It is a strong tool for motivation, which is a leading benefit due to high rates of drop-out for those with the most to gain from exercise.

What is Heart Rate Zone Training?
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise depends on pushing the heart well beyond resting limits. Some individuals are prohibited by doctors from going too far beyond those limits, and others simply need to ensure each workout is providing the most benefits for their fitness level.

The heart rate zone for aerobic exercise is between 40-85 percent of the maximum heart rate. The maximum is generally expressed as the equation subtracting your age from 220. The maximum for a 70 year old is about 150. There is significant variability between maximum heart rates due to differences in body type, composition, and weight. The aerobic zone for the 70 year old is between 60-127 beats per minute.

Using these calculations, a beginner at heart rate zone training might choose to start on the low end. Their target zone may be 55 to 70 percent or 82 to 105 beats per minute. Once the upper limit becomes comfortable, they could extend it further.

How to Monitor Heart Rate Zone Training
Biofeedback is accomplished with devices that provide real-time vital statistics during an activity. A heart rate monitor can be preset with the desired zone and time duration. Some monitors will use a series of alarms. These sound when the individual has achieved the zone, when they leave it on the lower or upper end, and after the passing of sufficient time in the zone.

Beginners will choose a wider zone and tighten it with observation of what is comfortable. The goal with heart rate zone training is provision of feedback on training goals.