By Michelle Heneise, CPT, NASM, NESTA
During our lifes we have crawled, ran, skipped, played tag, played sports…and for many of us, played hooky from exercise. But during all those years and various activities, we have never consciously trained the body’s key muscle to get the most from our cardio, the heart. Whether you are returning from cardio hooky or you’re ready to see an amazing change in your cardio strength and endurance, start with heart rate training. Here are three key factors to retraining the heart; understanding your heart rate, identifying heart rate and modifying your heart rate.
To understand your heart rate, realize that there are varied heart rates specific to the individual and the activity type. An individual’s heart rate will increase due to specific variables such as their age, sex, height, weight and health conditions. The beats of the heart increase with the increase in the workload of the cardio exercise and the workload will increase as it progresses in strength, speed and duration. The activity type also affects the heart rate, for example, sprinting and jumping create higher increases in heart rate compared to walking.
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To identify your heart rate an individual should find the heart rate that meets the criteria of their age, activity level and fitness goals. Through a cardio assessment, a trained professional can identify an individual’s specific training heart rate as well as additional exercise zones that meet these criteria.
To modify the heart rate use a range of individualized heart rate zones while exercising. Continually modifying the heart rate is crucial to fully maximizing the efficiency of the cardio activity being performed. Results of a person’s fitness goals are directly related to increases and decreases in heart rate. During the course of cardio activity there should be tailored increases and decreases in activity allowing for a range of heart rates. Modifying the heart rate through these ranges ensures that the heart is efficiently being used per the criteria of the individual and the individual’s fitness goals.
Collectively utilizing these three factors of understanding, identifying and modifying your heart rate will guarantee a healthy increase in cardio strength, endurance and most importantly, you will feel great. Put your “heart” back at the center of your fitness – you will love the results!
For more information contact Michelle or Brett Heneise at SantaClaritaBootCamp.com.
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