Getting the most out of your exercise! Are you working hard enough to make a difference??
Had this little conversation the other night at the gym with a couple…he LOVES exercise and she…tolerates it. Ha! A lot of people really want the benefits of exercise, but are not interested in things like…sweat. :-O In our little chat sesh, this couple and I were talking about being sore the day after (or two days after) a good workout. Her argument was that people will not want to continue with an exercise program if it makes them sore.
This made me stop and ponder the whole idea.
The truth is that “sore” is just part of the whole deal. I happen to love being sore because it’s a good indication that I worked my booty off (perhaps somewhat literally?!)! For those new to exercise programs, I would suggest easing into it so that the next day reminders as you try to lift yourself out of your chair, aren’t too much of a deterrent. HOWEVER…be careful not to stay in this “safe zone”! If you want real progress…work has got to be done! And, truth be told, you WILL feel it.
This leads me to the graphic about target heart rate above. While I think it’s excellent that people just move more in general, too many people do far too little and get nowhere with results. Knowing your target heart rate and then making sure you hit it and STAY there for at least 30 minutes is a great way to know you are getting your body in a zone that will burn fat and help you lose weight. This used to be a big deal in the exercise world…I remember stopping mid-class and the instructor would have us check our heart rates. I don’t even notice these charts anymore at gyms…do you??
HOW TO USE THE CHART:
You could do the formula…220 – your age…OR look at the bottom of the graphic, find your age range and then move up to the heart rate range you want to be at. I recommend staying between “moderate” and “hard” to really turn up your furnace and burn fat. For example: since I’m close to 40 *gasp*, my target heart rate should be between 126-144. So…how do we do this?
First of all, you need to allow your heart rate to reach its target before you check it. I always exercise for about 5 minutes to warm up and really get my heart pumping before I ever check my heart rate. When it’s time, I just use my pointer and middle finger to find the pulse on my neck or the inside of my wrist and count for six seconds then just add a zero to get your current heart rate. You will want to keep it there for 30 minutes minimum. This little video will walk you through assessing whether or not you are at your target:
***IMPORTANT*** Everyone’s target heart rate will look different in terms of how hard they have to work to hit it! One person might JUST be starting out and have a lower fitness level, so walking alone without much speed will really spike their heart rate. Someone who is a regular runner will likely not be able to reach their target heart rate even with speed walking. Each person is different and this is one reason why its important to check your heart rate. I should look out at my class while I’m teaching and see people working at all different levels because each person is coming from a different fitness level.
I’ll wrap it up with this:
I heard someone say today that “WORK WORKS”. Yes, it does! When I workout and I’m sore…I know I worked. When I take my heart rate and make sure I am in my target heart rate range…I know I’m working. If you want to see results, do the work. These are just ways to measure your output to ensure you are putting forth the appropriate amount of effort!
Hope you all are having a fabulous week!!
Love and blessings!