Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of a Safe and Effective Workout
Listening to your heart shouldn’t only be reserved for a rendezvous. As the organ responsible for the entire body’s circulation system, keeping track of your heart rate during exercise helps you understand how hard your body is working. To ensure you have both a safe and effective workout, there are 5 heart rate zones for you to monitor.
What Are the 5 Heart Rate Zones… and Why Should You Use Them?
Heart rate zones are a percentage of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) per minute. Within each of the 5 heart rate zones, your body will use carbohydrates, proteins, and fats as fuel – burning and utilizing them in different and specific ways.
Zone 1: The Very Light Zone
Between 50 – 60 % of MHR
When training at this heart rate zone, approximately 85% of the calories you’ll be burning will be fat. If you’re just starting out your workout or fitness journey, this zone will also help prepare you to train at higher zones. Although you’ll be burning fewer calories overall, this training in this very light heart rate zone does allow you to sustain your workouts for longer.
Zone 2: The Light Zone
Between 60 – 70% of MHR
If you’re hoping to improve your general endurance, this is the optimum zone to achieve those results. Your body won’t feel much of a difference when training at zone 2 compared to zone 1, but you’ll definitely reap more rewards. Heart rate zone 2 empowers your body to become better at oxidizing fat, while enhancing your muscular fitness and improving the density of your capillaries.
Zone 3: The Moderate Zone
Between 70 – 80% of MHR
Within this zone, you’ll begin to improve your aerobic capacity as well as the blood circulation in both your heart and skeletal muscles. More so, within zone 3, you’ll be elevating your anaerobic threshold. This is the point where your body will start to struggle with muscle fatigue, causing lactic acid to build in your bloodstream. But the more time spent training at heart rate zone 3, the more resistant your muscles will become to this build up.
Zone 4: The Hard Zone
Between 80 – 90% of MHR
Training at heart rate zone 4 will have you breathing and sweating harder than before. Within this zone, your body will begin better using carbohydrates for energy. You’ll even start to build up a better tolerance for higher levels of lactic acid in your blood stream – and for longer.
Zone 5: The Maximum Zone
Between 90 – 100% of MHR
When training within this heart rate zone, your body, blood, and respiratory system will be working at maximum capacity. Because this is the most intense zone, lactic acid will build up in your blood rapidly – meaning you won’t be able to sustain your workout or fitness routine for long.
Although each heart rate zone has its own perks, each benefits the next zone in succession. Newer athletes should work their way up from the bottom, whereas more experienced contenders can pick which heart rate zone best suits their workout or fitness goals. By understanding what you can get out of each zone, you’ll enjoy a safe and effective workout every time.