All about your heartbeat

2 Jan 2019

When you exercise or do sport, there’s only one thing that really tells you how well you’re doing: your heartbeat. But what is a healthy heartbeat? How do you calculate your maximum heart rate? And what does it actually say about you? Depending on the heart rate zone you train, there is always a different effect on your body.

The ideal heart rate

Let’s start with the bad news: there is no such thing as an ideal heartbeat. The heart rate that suits you will be different for someone else. But there are a number of general guidelines that can help you achieve your sport goals. For example, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute. This is much lower for seasoned athletes, because the strength of your heart increases as you do more sport and it needs fewer strokes per minute to pump your blood. So, a low resting heart rate means that your heart is working well and efficiently.

Maximum heart rate

Do you want to tone up, lose weight or maybe grow a six-pack? Then it is important to train at a certain heart rate. These ranges are divided into different zones. Each zone you train in has a different effect on your body. The zones are determined for each individual person and depend on your maximum heart rate. The most accurate way to calculate this is through an exercise test with a sports physician. But if you are a novice athlete, then you can simply deduct your age from 220 (men) or 226 (women). So, 220 or 226 minus your age = your maximum heart rate.

Heart rate zones

You can divide the heart rate into three zones during exercise. In zone 1, you use 65 to 75% of your maximum heart rate, e.g. during a long walk or gentle cycling. This helps to improve your physique slightly and burns minimum fat. In heart rate zone 2, you use 76 to 85% of your maximum heart rate, which means you are exerting yourself more. You consume more sugars and carbohydrates, and you improve your stamina. Zone 3 represents 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate. This involves huge physical exertion, which greatly improves your stamina.

How financially fit are you?
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