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Exercising For Fat Loss Within Your Target Heart Rate Range

May 27, 2008
When an exercise program is started, there will often be statements or indications about finding and staying within a target heart rate range. For the novice exercise participant, these terms can seem like Latin. Finding your target heart rate range is a simple process that can make your workouts more effective, more substantial and more fat burning.

Fat burning occurs when the heart rate is maintained within a certain range for an extended period of time. This range is called the target heart rate range. In order to find this range, a mathematic equation can be used.

1) Find your maximum heart rate. The maximum heart rate of a person is needed to find the target heart rate range. The maximum heart rate is simply 220 - (your age). For example, a 50 year old woman who wants to find her maximum heart rate would take the number 220 and subtract her age (50) giving her the maximum heart rate of 170.

2) A little division. Once the maximum heart rate is found, the target heart rate range is easy to establish. The target heart rate of physical fitness and fat burning normally ranges from 50% of the maximum heart rate to 85% of the maximum heart rate. For the 50 year old woman, the target heart rate range would be 85 beats per minute to 145 beats per minute.

Using the Target Heart Rate Range

At first, this range will be a guide for the exercise your are doing each day. The lower number should be your friend throughout workouts. This is the lowest heart rate that should be sustained for a longer period of time in order to activate the fat burning mode of the muscles. As your physical fitness levels increase, the upper ranges of the target heart rate range can be reached to enhance the fat burned during a workout.

How Long Do I Have to Sustain an Elevated Heart Rate

The body stores carbohydrates for energy and these stores are the first fuels that are burned by the body. In general, the first 15 minutes of an aerobic, or heart rate raising, workout will just be burning the carbohydrate stores. After that the fat burning begins and every step, lift, punch and kick are taking a few more fat calories off that body.

Cautions for Beginners

It is important for the person just beginning a fat burning exercise program to seek medical advice before beginning. The target heart rate range figures assume a healthy person with no associated health problems. There are effective ways for every person to lose weight through fat burning, but if these methods are directing a negative effect on the body related to a health problem the weight loss will certainly not be a good trade off.

For the healthy individual, the lower ranges are your home for the first few days, up to two weeks. The main reason people stop an exercise program for fat burning is because of burn out. Their bodies are tired, their muscles are achy and they just do not want to do it anymore. By sticking with the lower end and slowly climbing the range, your body will adjust more quickly and their will be less pain.
About the Author
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