The Importance Of Your Heart Rate For Weight Loss

 One important element in working out to lose weight effectively is knowing your target heart rate zone. It is the range where your body should sustain physical activity to remain safe while achieving effective fat burning results. The fitter you are, the higher the rate you can aim for.  Professional athletes also make use of target heart rate to determine how to pace themselves and spread their energy without getting tired too early.  You should know that tracking this information will help you manage and improve your fitness level. By doing so, you can calculate whether you can push harder to burn more calories and lose more weight.  If you are a beginner, it can be quite complicated to point out which zone you should work on.  Whether your heart rate should be in the “aerobic zone” or in the “fat burning zone”, there are other assessments you need to make to see what rate to target. Seeking the help of a fitness professional can surely build the right foundation for your weight loss routine.  How do you know which zone is best for weight loss?  First, note the different heart rate zones. Many fitness professionals also use them as a guide to recommend a type of work out for their clients.

Red Line (90% to 100% maximum heart rate)

Also known as “Maximum Effort”  This zone burns the most calories, but it is very intense. It may be too extreme for most people who are simply trying to lose excess pounds and burn some body fat. You should only stay in this zone for a very short period of time.

If you truly want to try this out, make sure you are in top condition.

Anaerobic Zone (80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate)

Also known as “Performance Training”  Typically, Olympic athletes exercise within this zone due to its effects on improving the body’s VO2 max (the highest amount of oxygen you can consume during exercise). It also increases lactate tolerance, improves endurance over time and enhances your overall fitness.  Once some level of fitness is reached, you can easily fight fatigue even in stressful exercise situations. The best part about this is that 15% of the calories burned off are from your fat stores.

Aerobic Zone (70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate)

Also known as “Endurance Training”  Working out in this zone provides the best benefits for your cardiovascular and respiratory health.

50% of the calories burned off are from your fat stores.

Fitness Zone (60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate)

Also known as “Fat Burning”  This zone is almost similar to “warm-up” zone but burns more calories.

85% of the calories burned off are from your fat stores.

Healthy Heart Zone (50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate)

Also known as “Warm-Up”  This is the easiest zone to stay in as it can be achieved by merely walking briskly. Working out in this zone can definitely decrease your cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat.

Though 85% of the calories burned off are from your fat stores, it will take you longer to lose more weight if you only stick to this zone.  Typically your body burns more calories from your fat stores when you work out in the “fat burning zone”. This is why merely keeping an active lifestyle without the efforts of going to the gym to work out can maintain a healthy weight.  But if you are aiming to decrease the number you see on your scale, you will burn more calories at a faster rate when you stick to a higher intensity workout.  Unless you are training to build muscle or aim to reach a certain lean body figure for a competition, it is best to workout at varying levels of intensity to improve your overall body fitness and heart resistance.  If you choose to burn more body fat, be prepared to work longer hours at the gym. Remember that  incorporating fat burning zone and endurance training into your workout routine will offer the most weight loss benefits.

Guest Post By: Katrina Rice