Understanding your heart rate is important in order to measure the intensity of your exercise. As you can imagine, your heart rate will be lower when you're at rest (resting heart rate) and higher when you're exercising. Your fat-burning heart rate zone is when your body reaches a certain rate which allows your body to tap into fat stores instead of using basic carbohydrates for energy.
Calculating Your Heart Rate for Fat Burning
In order to calculate your heart rate for fat burning, you first need to understand your maximum heart rate. This can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you're 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 220 - 30 = 190 beats per minute. Your heart rate for fat burning is 70% of your maximum heart rate which equals 133 BPM in our example.
Finding your resting heart rate can also be calculated using a formula, but the most accurate way to calculate your resting heart rate is a hydrostatic body fat test.
Standard Heart Rate Zones
Although every person is different, this chart shows the standard range of heart rate zones based on age. Once again - you should understand YOUR body individually but this chart gives a good overall understanding.
Optimizing Your Heart Rate to Burn Fat
Contrary to what you may believe, the more intensity of your workout does not necessarily correlate positively with fat loss. Although you may be burning more calories, you also may be tapping into your stored sugar and carbohydrates rather than burning off fat. In order to optimize your heart rate, you need to keep your heart rate in the fat-burning zone for a longer period of time, even if that means swapping HIIT for lower intensity activities.
If you're looking for more information or want to speak with an expert, schedule a consultation here. Understanding your heart rate is one of the first steps to understanding your body and training properly to achieve your goals. If you're interested in learning about your resting metabolic rate, personal calorie burn rate for various exercises, body fat percentage, & much more - then check out our upcoming events to get a hydrostatic test done.