In the newest episode of My Diet is Better than Yours, Anna talks about heart rate and tests the contestants’ heart rates during their exercise challenge. Some were surprised by the difference between how hard they felt they were working and what their heart rates indicated.
Do you know your target heart rate? Your max heart rate? Do you know how to calculate these things? Do you even know why they’re important? Here, Anna breaks down the basics for you.
Why should you be aware of your heart rate while you’re working out? Because it’s a reliable indicator of the intensity of your training. If you feel like you’re working at your max, but your heart rate indicates otherwise (like the ladies in the show), you can set a definitive goal and measure your progress using your heart rate.
Like Anna said, you don’t want to be at your max heart rate — your body can’t handle that for very long. But if you’re looking to increase your aerobic endurance, try staying within 70-80% of your max heart rate for 20-60 minutes. That’s going to improve your circulatory system (by building new blood vessels), and increase your heart and lung capacity. It’s a good zone to aim for!