Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 5 Heart Zones

I’m beginning this post by talking about my wonderful husband. A few weeks ago we were talking in the car and he said, “For the people who really don’t know you I look like a bad husband when it comes to giving gifts.” And my immediate response was, “why in the world would they think that?!?” Here is his gift “track” record:

Birthday: Treadmill
Christmas: Biggest Loser DVD, running shoes
Birthday: The Ultimate Push-up set
Christmas: Running shoes & workout clothes
Birthday: Timex Personal Heart Zones Monitor, Acai Berry drink mix, Protein drink mix

After I thought about it for awhile, I just laughed out loud. He knows me SO well, better than I even know myself. But he’s right, for anyone who doesn’t know me it looks like he’s trying to get some kind of point across!

As for the latest gift he got me – the Timex Personal Heart Zone Monitor – I completely love it! When I first started my cycling classes, they would say stuff like “I want you at 65% of your max heart rate.” Or “I want you at the top of Zone 3.” I was completely clueless until I got this monitor and read the little booklet that came with it. It discussed the 5 different heart zones. So, I got even more curious and did a little research on them.

First of all I want to start off by telling you to find out what your Maximum heart rate is. There are different ways of doing this, but here are two that I found to be the easiest. Please keep in mind that these are just estimates.

220 – (Your Age) = Maximum Heart Rate

New Mathematical Formula Age/Weight Predicted Maximum Heart Rate:

Males: 210 minus 1/2 your age minus 5% of your body weight + 4
Females: 210 minus - 1/2 your age minus 1% of your body weight + 0

*A few tips about Max HR which you may be curious about. It's altitude sensitive and increases as you go higher and it also is affected by drugs such as beta blocks and even antihistamines. It cannot be increased by training and a high Max HR does not predict better performance.

Once you know your maximum heart rate than you can figure out each heart rate zone.

Heart Zones:

Healthy Heart Zone (Zone 1): 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, can carry a full conversation, less intense & won’t give you the best cardiovascular training benefits, in this zone the body derives its energy by burning 10% carbohydrates, 5% protein, and 85% fat.

Fitness Zone (Zone 2): 60-70% of maximum heart rate, should still be able to speak in short sentences, a little more intense then Zone 1, the body derives its energy by burning 10% carbs, 5% protein, 85% fat.

Aerobic Zone (Zone 3): 70-80% of maximum heart rate, should only be able to speak short phrases, use this zone for endurance training, body gets its fuel by using 50% carbs, 50% from fat, and less than 1% of protein.

Anaerobic Zone / Threshold Zone (Zone 4): 80-90% of maximum heart rate, should only be able to speak one word, gasp, another word, improves the amount of oxygen you consume, body begins to produce lactic acid, the body burns 85% carbs, 15% fat, and less than 1% protein.

Red-Line Zone (Zone 5): 90-100% of maximum heart rate, you can’t go any higher than this, you should not remain in this zone for more than a few minutes, this zone should only be used during interval training, you burn a ton of calories but 90% of them are from carbohydrates, 10% fat, and less than 1% protein.

I also found a site that gives you a target heart rate range, which is where you need to be to see the best results.

Target Heart Rate Calculator:

As for those of you who have been reading my blog, you all know that I have been in a plateau since November, and when I was reading one of the articles I read this…

Fit and unfit people burn fat differently. The more fit you are, the more effectively you use fat to maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, perhaps you've been exercising vigorously, but not losing the weight you expected to. Could be you've been working too hard and need to drop back to this zone and exercise longer. To burn more total calories you'll need to exercise for more time in this zone (Zone 2).

I completely feel that this is me. My mentality has been “I need to do more, I need to do more.” This has not helped me one little bit! I now feel that I need to back off a bit and try to keep my heart rate within a healthy zone for me. I have done nothing but run myself in the ground. I used to have energy from working out, but lately I think that I’ve expended it from working out so hard that I just flat-out feel exhausted!

I hope this helps you all out there. Stay positive and accountable for others. Don't forget to check out Sandy at God Speaks today... It's Fitness Friday and I always LOVE reading her posts!


Next Friday’s post will be on What to eat before working out. Or, “Do I eat before working out, or do I not???”

And if your looking for my post on Gettin' Fine in '09 Challenge Week 6, it's directly below this!


Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Sarah, great post! Yours goes hand in hand with Debbie's post from heart choices. Both will be extremely beneficial to people trying to lose weight. So much good info!

I need to come back later when I have time to calculate my max heart rate and read through the articles you suggest.

Thanks so much for linking to me. You are awesome!

Dani Joy said...

Thanks for the great comment. I really didn´t expect it cause I knew you had guests. We are gonna have company next week from Germany. It will be tough to blog I am sure.

My hubby just got done playing his football game. I seem to get so into it as if I am playing. Maybe I burned a lot of calories. jeje i am exhausted. jeje

Great stuff in your comment! I am excited to check out those links.

I don´t know how to calculate the calories on a small ham and cheese sandwich. :( I had to eat something and now I don´t know if I can record it.

Well, Thanks again for the info and the encouragment! This is great!! You really have given me a boost!