Weight Loss

Target heart rate for weight loss is essential for optimum exercise

Target heart rate for weight loss

Optimization is an extremely important word in the present times. As important as it is to do something, it is equally important to make sure that the effort is not being overdone. Exercising is one of the things extremely important for the proper working of the human body. It is, hence, important to exercise with the correct heart rate as this leads to even faster weight loss. This target heart rate for weight loss helps to determine if the exercises one does actually help to lose weight.

How to calculate target heart rate for weight loss?

The normal heart rate of a person is the rate of his heart by which it pumps blood when he is resting. This blood carries oxygen to the various organs carries out waste. Measured in beats per minute (bpm), it lies in the range between 60 to 100 bpm for adults and children above 10 years of age. Athletes are observed to have lower heart rates as their heart needs less efforts to pump the requisite quantity of blood.

During exercise, the heart rate increases on account of the organs demanding more oxygen. However, it has its own limit. After a certain limit, the heart starts getting damaged and hence, this threshold limit must never be crossed. This particular limit is called Maximum Heart Rate or MHR. It is a measure of the rate at which a person’s heart can contract to pump blood per minute, without getting damaged. By means of treadmill stress testing, this can be actually measured. However, there is a generic formula

MHR = 226 (For men) or 220 (for women) – age.

An error of 10 to 15 bpm can be expected as this is a generic and simple formula.

The ideal target heart rate for weight loss

People are advised to work out such that they achieve 50-60% of their MHR. This is said to be a comfortable and healthy heart rate. For increased weight loss, one can attempt workouts to reach 60 to 70% of his MHR. Anything above this will damage his heart in the long run. As age has a pivotal influence in the MHR of every person, it also determines the target heart rate for weight loss.

For example, the MHR for a male of 20 years is 200 BPM and hence, his target heart rate is within 120 – 140 BPM. Similarly, the MHR for a man of 30 years is 190 BPM putting his target heart rate in the range between 114 to 133 BPM.

The next important factor is gender. For a 20 year old female, the MHR is 206 BPM putting the target heart rate at 124 to 144 BPM while for a 30 year old woman, the MHR is 196 BPM making her target range 118 – 137 BPM.

Why is it essential to know target heart rate?

The whole point of exercising is to burn excess calories. However, if the exercise does not effectively perform this function, it loses the very same objective that it is attempting to accomplish.