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I have read and re read the different e books when I need inspiration to do my work out. By the time I am 2 paragraphs in (to Female Fat Loss Over 40), I am ready to get my work out clothes on and go for it. I really enjoy the challenging work outs and the audio book with the different timing intervals makes it easy!! I am really enjoying your program, particularly these 2 months which are especially busy for me. I can’t always make it to Boot camp but I feel so much better when I exercise. It’s great to have the option of doing a challenging workout at home. I am looking forward to taking your program on my next vacation. Thanks!!

Becky M
Hey Shawna, I bought the FFLO about a month ago and have finally started using it on Tuesday. I quit waiting for Monday to start it. It's just been 3 days but I can already tell that it is working. I sleep better and want to eat better so that I'll see results. How can I mess up with menus and workouts spelled out for me? I know what I need to do and have worked with trainers over the years to know that your program will work. For me it has just been a matter of getting started. I gained 15 lbs over the winter and need to get it off. I was diagnosed 2 years ago with Type 2 diabetes so exercise is a key part of my health. I love to walk / run but I know that with the interval training I will not only see the results I want on my body but my blood sugar will be where it needs to be. The interval training is a great workout for me in the morning. Then in the evenings I can walk for stress relief and to just relax. I saw myself in your message yesterday about the woman who still tries to walk everyday for 2 hours - who has time for that? I enjoy your blogs and am glad that I found you on Facebook! To good health!

This Month In Body
  • Fitness Faux Pas
    Whether out of ignorance, faulty reasoning, or carelessness, people make mistakes in the way they approach exercise or how they carry it out. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from your mistakes and make necessary changes going forward. Read >>
  • Fit Past 50
    Even if you haven’t exercised in decades, there’s no shame in starting today. An exercise program for adults over 50 should be designed by your trainer to help you stay mobile, build muscle and bone strength, and improve balance. Read >>
  • A Little One-Sided
    Most of the exercises you perform work both sides of your body at the time. Important as these are, fitness experts recommend including unilateral exercises, or unilateral training loads, in your exercise routine. Read >>
  • Hitting Your Heart Rate Bulls-Eye
    Working out at your target heart rate is one way to determine if you’re exercising at a safe intensity that is strenuous enough to make a difference. What is your target heart rate and how do you find it? Keep reading to find out. Read >>
Health and Fitness News
The Smart Woman's Guide to Fitness At Home

Hitting Your Heart Rate Bulls-Eye

How to find and hit your target heart rate range.

Since your muscle pumps non-stop from before you were born until the day you die, keeping it healthy is in your best interest. With regular exercise, you do just that. And while heart disease is a leading cause of death, it’s highly preventable. One of the greatest tools to keep heart disease at bay? You guessed it. Exercise.

This benefit occurs because when you exercise, your heart must pump blood faster to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles to keep them moving. This extra work strengthens your heart to work more efficiently when you’re not working out.

The greater the intensity of your exercise, the harder your heart will pump. Working out at your target heart rate is one way to determine if you’re exercising at a safe intensity that is strenuous enough to make a difference. What is your target heart rate and how do you find it? Keep reading to find out.

Find Your Pulse

To find your target heart rate, you must know how to find your pulse. Your pulse is your heart rate measured in beats per minute (BPM). The two easiest places to find your pulse are the inside of your wrist and the front side of your neck. Place the pointer finger and middle finger of your right hand on the inside of your left wrist or on your neck and find your pulse.

Many fitness trackers and exercise machines come with a heart rate feature and take the guesswork out of it.

Resting Heart Rate

Before finding your target heart rate, you need to find your resting heart rate. To do this, measure it first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Track your pulse for 30 seconds and double it to find your resting heart rate per minute.

The average resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 BPM. People who are in good physical shape will typically have a lower pulse. Marathon runners may have a pulse as low as 40 or 50 BPM and still be considered healthy. A higher pulse is associated with obesity and high blood pressure.

Maximum Heart Rate

Once you have your resting heart rate, you need to determine your maximum heart rate. This number is based on your age. Subtract your age from 220. The maximum heart rate for a 40-year-old would be 180 BPM. (220 - 40 = 180)

Target Heart Rate

Now you can find your target heart rate. Expressed as a percentage, your target heart rate is between 50 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. For a 40-year-old whose maximum heart rate is 180, their target heart rate at 50-percent exertion is 90. At 85-percent exertion, the target reaches 153 BPM. With that information, you can see that the target heart rate range for a 40-year-old is between 90 and 153 BPM. Don’t want to do the math? Find a target heart rate chart online.

Knowing your target heart rate range lets you know how fast your heart should be beating when working out. The higher the number in the range, the greater the fitness gains. If you’re new to exercise, start at the low end of your target heart rate range and work your way up.

View your target heart rate as a guide to help you know if you’re exercising at the right intensity. Take one to two breaks during exercise to measure your pulse to make sure you’re exercising in your target heart rate range. If your pulse is too low, pick up the pace—especially if you’re trying to burn calories. If your heart rate is near your maximum, slow down or take a short break.

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