Calculating Your Target
After reading the last paragraph, you may be feeling
highly motivated to know how to calculate your heart
rate. Most aerobics classes have a chart on the wall
that gives heart rate ranges at different weights and
ages (yes, age is a factor, so pay attention to it).
Gender is also a factor: you will notice that the charts
have separate information for men and for women. Usually,
your instructor will make it easy for you by having
you take a heart rate measurement two or three times
in a workout, counting the number of beats per minute
and comparing it with the wall chart that shows you
You can learn to calculate your heart
rate, or you can buy a heart rate monitor that will doit
for you, so you can concentrate on better things – like
the well-fashioned baud of the good-looking individual
in front of you.
To calculate your heart rate for aerobics without a
chart, you will use a formula that can give you a heart
rate range inside which your workout intensity should
The formula range is 60-85%, but remember that we
know the body burns fat best at 75%, so we’ll calculate
220 minus your age, gives your heart rate maximum.
Multiply by heart rate percentage (.6,.75 or .85) for
So, for a 35-year old woman, the formula would look like
at 60% maximum heart rate 220-35 * .60 = 111 per minute
at 75% maximum heart rate 220-35* .75 = 138.75 per
at 85% maximum heart rate 220-35* .85 = 157.25 per
To take a pulse reading while exercising, place your
index and middle finger halfway down your neck on the
side, about an inch-and-a-half below your jaw. Count
beats for thirty seconds, then multiply by two to get a
minute’s reading. In this case, we are aiming for 138 or
139 beats per minute , the optimal fat-burning range.
If you are quite out of shape, take this formula with a
grain of salt: make your target heart rate 50-60% of
maximum for the first coupe of weeks, then raise it
gradually as you become more fit. At any time, if you
are working very hard, too hard to speak, it doesn’t
matter what your heart rate is, you need to slow down.
Remember, everyone is different, so listen to your body
and err on the side of caution when you are beginning a
new exercise program. If you feel dizzy or sick, if you
have problems catching your breath, you are working too
hard and should slow down or even stop.
Continue reading the next aerobics article on the truth about weight charts
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