Michele Cannell

Fitness professional certified in Personal Training, Wellness, CPR/AED, Cycling, Pilates, YogaFit, Tai Chi, and living with Celiac Disease.

Do you know your zones?

Do You Know What Aerobic Zones You Should Be Working Out In?

Knowing how to determine your heart rate before; during and after exercise will allow you to know if you are becoming more physically fit. You were born with a 220 heart rate. Therefore your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age.

Step 1: Now you need to determine what your fitness level should be using the Target Heart Rate Formula below. Simply plug in your age and your percentage (50-60% beginner; 65-75% you workout 2-3 times per week; 75-85% you workout 4-5 times per week). Target Heart Rate is specific to you. You need to be at your target heart rate during most of your workout to burn the appropriate amount of calories.

Step 2: Using a Heart Rate Monitor. Keep track of your heart rate while you are doing your cardiovascular program. I would keep track of it for a good 1-2 weeks. What zones were you in the most?

Step 3: Determine if you feel comfortable getting into your Anaerobic Zone for 2-3 minutes (according to the chart it would be Zone 3; 4 and 5). This Zone will be higher than your Target Heart Rate/Aerobic Zone. This Zone allows you to burn a little more fat; expend a little more calories and ultimately, trains your body to become a cardio endurance machine.

Step 4: Keep an exercise diary for success. You will notice that it will be harder to stay in zone 4 and zone 5. This means you are becoming that cardio endurance machine you always wanted to be.

Target Heart Rate: This number is based on your age and your exercise level (Formula: 220-age x exercise %= your target heart rate)
Aerobic Heart Rate Zone: This is a small range (based on the formula above) that you can maintain for 20 or more minutes. Anaerobic Heart Rate Zone: This number is higher than you Aerobic Heart Rate Zone (220-age x exercise level%) but not as high at your Maximum Heart Rate (220-age). Typically you can only stay in this zone for 2-3 minutes.IMG_0041