Finding Your Training Zone

Your appropriate training zone can be determined by using the formulas shown below:

Max for Beginner (220 - your age) x 60%

Max for Intermediate (220 - your age) x 70%

Max for Advanced (220-your age) x 85%

*Note: The most accurate means of calculating your max hr for your ideal training zone is to have an exercise stress test taken by a sports medicine specialist.

For a more accurate measurement, use the Karvonen formula below:

Your max heart rate can be determined by subtracting your age from 220 for men and 206 for women.

Subtract your resting heart rate from 220 or 206.

Multiply by .70 for 70%.

Add your resting heart rate which gives you your 70% level.

Repeat the following step to find 60% or 85% levels.

For example, using the chart and formula, a 50 year old man has a resting heart rate of 75 exercising at a 70% intensity level calculates as follows

220 - 75 - 170 (max HR)

170 - 75 = 95 * 95 x .70 - 66.5

66.5 + 75 - 141.5 (70% Training Heart Rate)

Using the same formula and chart an 85% intensity level is 155.75. His 70 - 85% training zone is from 141.50 to 155.75. (A 60% intensity level is 129 beats per minute.) The Aerobic Workout: Each workout should consist of a 5-10 minute warm-up followed by 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and then a 5-10 minute cool-down.

Warm-Up: The purpose of a warm-up is to gradually increase ones heart rate preparing the muscular and circulatory systems for the upcoming training period. This also helps prevent injury to muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Training period: The training period should consist of exercising for 20-30 minutes in your 70-85% training zone. Individuals out of shape or just beginning should train at 60-70% level.

Cool-Down: After the training period, gradually lower your exercise intensity level before stopping. This allows your system to return gradually to normal and prevents dizziness and nausea.

Train 3-5 Times a Week to achieve a healthy level of fitness.

Training Activities:

The best activities to improve cardiovascular fitness are ones that increase blood flow through the heart and large muscle groups continuously, rhythmically, and are aerobic in nature, such as: jogging, swimming, cross-training, stair climber, etc.

Training Heart Rate Target:

Your training heart rate target depends upon your fitness level. Healthy individuals are recommended to train at 70-80% of their max heart rate to improve cardiovascular fitness (Training below 70% target heart rate is ineffective and above 85% is potentially unsafe.) A 60-70% training heart rate might be more appropriate, comfortable, and safe for individuals just beginning or out of shape.