Better Understand Heart Rate and Exercise with Wellbridge
Most of us know that a good workout is designed to get your heart pumping. But what does an increased heart rate really do for your health? And just how high should I get my heart rate for maximum effectiveness? The team at Wellbridge is here to answer each of those questions and more. You’ll find our health clubs at multiple locations across the United States, and many of our services are available online as well. Whether you’d like to schedule a one-on-one with a fitness trainer or you’d simply like in-depth information about exercise, we can help. Our members enjoy our fitness resources both at our clubs and at home!
Why Is Heart Rate Vital for Exercise?
If you’ve done any research into the best exercise methods, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about cardio. This type of activity is designed to boost your heart rate and get oxygen moving through your body. But why is an increased heart rate so vital to your physical health? The answer lies in the oxygen that travels throughout your body. When you regularly increase your heart rate with exercise, your body better learns to move oxygen to the muscles. With more oxygen available, your muscles can work much more easily and efficiently. In short, a higher heart rate helps you get in shape!
How to Measure Your Heart Rate
Because a higher heart rate often means a more effective workout, you’ll want to have a handle on how much your heart is pumping. Fortunately, measuring your heart rate is quite simple, and anyone can do it. In general, you can try two different methods to get an idea of your heart rate:
- Evaluate How You Feel: This may seem too easy, but you can get a good idea of your heart rate by simply listening to your body. We often refer to this strategy as perceived exertion. If you’re fatigued and feel your heart pounding in your chest, there’s a good chance you’ve upped your heart rate.
- Heart Monitor or Fitness Tracker: Perhaps you’d like a more accurate estimate of just how fast your heart is pumping. In that case, a fitness tracker like MyZone® will be your best option. These devices can measure your heart rate throughout a workout, as well as a plethora of other factors. Many fitness trackers can also help you record your calorie intake and calories burned throughout the day.
Do You Have to Track Your Heart Rate?
Tracking your heart rate isn’t required for most people. Unless a doctor has recommended that you keep watch on your heart rate, you can probably skip it. However, we do suggest finding your target heart rate and monitoring it while you exercise. By doing so, you’ll be better able to evaluate the effectiveness of your workout. If you aren’t reaching your target heart rate, you can simply adjust your regimen until you hit the correct range. Some people may also find the use of a fitness tracker much more motivating than waiting to see results appear.
Hit Your Target Heart Rate for Top Results
While you don’t have to track your heart rate, it is a good idea to do so if you’re trying to hit your target heart rate. Your target heart rate is the speed at which you’ll find balance in your workouts. At this rate, you won’t be exercising too hard or at too low an intensity. Pushing yourself too hard can quickly result in injury, and not exercising hard enough can minimize your results. Working out at your unique target heart rate will increase your chances of an effective workout that is worth your valuable time.
How Can I Find My Target Heart Rate?
The ideal heart rate looks a little different for everyone. Because of this, we recommend calculating your own before starting vigorous exercise. When you work with one of Wellbridge’s certified personal trainers, they can help you determine the appropriate target range for your age and fitness goals. However, you can also calculate your heart rate on your own with just a few personal details. Follow these steps:
- Find Your Maximum Heart Rate: Subtract your age from 220. This value estimates your maximum heart rate during vigorous exercise.
- Decide Your Intensity: Some people strive for high-intensity workouts, while others prefer to stay at a moderate level. If you opt for moderate intensity, you want to hit between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum rate. For high intensity, aim for 70 to 85 percent.
- Multiply Your Maximum Heart Rate: To find the lower range of your target heart rate, multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.5 for moderate intensity and 0.7 for high intensity.
- Find the Upper Range: To calculate the top of your range, multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.7 for moderate intensity and 0.85 for high intensity.
- Example: A 30-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 190 (220-30=190). Should they opt for high intensity, multiply 190 by 0.7 and 0.85 to find the target range. In this case, the appropriate heart rate would fall between 133 and 162 beats per minute.
Ways to Get Your Heart Pumping
When we hear the word “cardio,” we typically think of running and sprints. While running a few times a week is an excellent way to get your heart pumping, it’s not the only way to get your daily dose of cardio. If you aren’t a fan of running, try one or more of these ways to boost your heart rate:
- Aerobic classes
- Jump rope
- Barre workouts
- Circuit training
- High-intensity training (HIT)
- Brisk walking
- Elliptical machines
Benefits of Exercising at the Proper Heart Rate
While any exercise is better than no exercise, you can maximize your results by aiming for your target heart rate. You’ll experience several benefits from emphasizing the proper heart rate, and many of these you’ll be able to see and feel. Below, you’ll find just a few of the numerous advantages to adhering to your target heart rate:
- Strengthened cardiovascular system
- Reduced risk of serious health conditions, such as heart disease
- Lower bad cholesterol and increase more good cholesterol
- Improved endurance
- Faster calorie burn
- Easier weight management
- Increase speed and power when working out
- Relieve stress
Up Your Daily Cardio with Wellbridge
If you’re sold on all the benefits of exercising to your target heart rate, it’s time to apply that knowledge to your daily workouts. When you exercise with Wellbridge, we can help you reach your fitness goals with cardio circuits, Zumba classes and much more. Whether you plan to visit one of our many nationwide locations or take advantage of our virtual club, we have something to meet your needs. Perhaps you love visiting your local fitness club and working out alone to start your day. But maybe you’re not quite so self-motivated and would prefer group fitness classes. You’re in luck—we offer group fitness both in-person and online! We want to help you meet your fitness goals in whichever way best suits you.
Need Specific Advice? Turn to a Personal Trainer!
We all have different needs when it comes to fitness. Sometimes, the best way to meet your specific goals is to speak with a personal fitness trainer. At Wellbridge, you’ll find numerous trainers with a plethora of specialties. If you’re looking to lose weight, we have a trainer for you. Maybe you’re happy with your weight, but you’d like to gain muscle. We can match you with a trainer to meet that goal as well. Finding a personal trainer doesn’t have to be hard when you get in touch with Wellbridge!
Learn More About Our Athletic Clubs
Whether you love taking boxing classes or you were hooked after your first at-home barre workout, fitness is for everyone. At Wellbridge, we strive to make our resources available to as many people as possible. We have locations across the United States, and we welcome prospective members to stop by and see what we have to offer. Perhaps you’re not leaving the house too much these days. In that case, you’re welcome to our online fitness classes, including body conditioning, low-impact, kickboxing, and much more. Regardless of your fitness goals, allow our team to help you boost your heart rate and maximize your results. Contact us today.