• Hey Amber, Great Post! This method is much more accurate than the typical equation Personal Trainer’s use.

    But, everyone should keep in mind that this is still an estimated range. It’s not an exact science.

    For example, someone may be exercising above their range and feel fine (barely breathing heavy), on the other hand, someone could be exercising below their range and feel like they are going to pass out. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to still use the “Talk Test” while exercising. This is where you can talk in short sentences but not tell a long story. The Heart Rate Range is only a reference to the stated “Moderate” guideline the major oragnizations publish.

    The way you feel is a wonderful indicator of how hard you are working! Listen to your body, it may be saying “Speed it Up” or “Slow it Down”!

    From Adam Martin
    January 29, 2010

  • I appreciate the blogs and continued encouragement. Although I was only at H3I one week (Jan-10-17), I have continued to exercise each day since by trying different exercise videos from my local library and finding that some work better than others. Adam’s exercises for the traveler have also been a great resource. Thanks for doing such an excellent job of keeping us on track for a healthier lifestyle! Sue Ellen

    From Sue Ellen Sherer
    February 1, 2010

  • “Making sure we get the recommended 45-60 minutes of physical activity daily is vital.”

    I have a question: If I’m doing about 35 minutes of intense cardio at the gym before I do strength training for another 25 minutes or so, am I doing 60 minutes of “physical activity” or do I need to be doing 45-60 minutes of just cardio? When I do the strength training, my heart rate stays elevated and often peaks while doing some exercises. Thanks!

    From Erik K.
    February 1, 2010

  • The recommendation is 30-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 or more times a week and 2-3 full body strength workouts per week. Thus, you are fulfilling the accredited recommendation!

    From Amber
    February 1, 2010

How hard should you be working? Find the answer below…

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Not because of Valentine’s Day but, every year since its congressional approval in 1963 the President has issued a proclamation to help raise public awareness of heart disease.


We all know that sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and family history are just some of the risk factors. Fortunately like most things, with proper nutrition and physical activity, the risk factors can be reduced or merely eradicated. Thus, being physically inactive is just not an option for us H3 blog readers.


Making sure we get the recommended 45-60 minutes of physical activity daily is vital. Time and mode is of importance, however intensity is even more imperative. In efforts to make sure you are exercising “purposefully” and at the proper intensity, please follow the formula below in calculating your Target Heart Rate (THR) Range.


How to find your Target Heart Rate Range (Karvonen formula steps):


1.  Take your resting pulse (complete resting= upon waking in the morning without an alarm clock, etc.) three mornings in a row.  Add them all together and divide by three, to get an average.  This is your RHR (Resting Heart Rate).


2.  (220)- (your age) = (MaxHR)


3.  (MaxHR) – (RHR) = (Heart Rate Reserve a.k.a. HRR)


4.  (HRR) x (60% )=  low training range %

      (HRR) x (80%) = high training range %


5.  (Low TR%) + (RHR) = Low Target Heart Rate Range

      (High TR%) + (RHR) = High Target Heart Rate Range


***TARGET HEART RATE RANGE*** =  (Low Target Heart Rate Range—High Target Heart Rate Range)


Now that you have found your THR Range, you should be working within this range of intensity level/s during your aerobic exercise bouts. Be sure to monitor this range with the equipment sensors, heart rate wrist monitors or intermittent heart rate checks throughout your “heart healthy” workout!

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