Cardio

5 Reasons Why You Should Track Your Heart Rate

Your target heart rate zone means everything for fitness success.

By: Emmy Green

It’s all about the heart! Building the perfect booty or carving out defined abs are great goals, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important to our overall wellness than the health of our heart.

Learning a few simple facts about your heart rate is a powerful way to make sure your workouts are giving you the most bang for your buck, and helping you torch calories on your way to your dream bod.

Thanks to technology, it’s as easy as strapping on a watch or chest band to monitor your heart rate zones and make sure you’re hitting optimal numbers. AKA, that Fitbit or Apple watch doesn’t just look cute and isn’t only good for tracking sleep. Here are five powerful reasons to start monitoring your heart rate today.

Five Reasons to Track Your Heart Rate Zones to Supercharge Your Workouts 

Track heart rate

#1 It’s a Good Indication of Overall Fitness

As a general rule, our resting heart rates (when we’re not exerting ourselves) falls between 60-100 beats per minute. As we become more conditioned that number can go down, as low as 40 beats per minute for an elite athlete, as the heart becomes more efficient at doing its job. Tracking your heart rate over time tells us a lot about our overall fitness—more than simply stepping on a scale does!

#2 It’s Great Motivation!

What’s better encouragement to keep going than seeing your health change in a very measurable way!? If you track your heart rate for a while, you’ll notice your resting heart rate lowering, which can be great motivation to keep up your hard work!

#3 Overdoing it is a Real Thing—Tracking Your Heart Rate Zones Prevents This

No pain no gain? Not so fast. While your workouts should push you, there’s such a thing as going too hard. This can be especially dangerous if you’re dealing with a medical condition or are new to working out. However, no one is exempt from overdoing it, which can lead to injury, burnout, or longer recovery times between workouts.

#4 It Ensures We’re in The Fat-Burning Sweet Spot

So, what’s the ideal heart rate to make sure your workouts really count?

Roughly speaking, your sweat sesh should land your heart rate between 60-80% of your max heart rate, which you find by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 30 years old, your max heart rate would be approximately 190 beats per minute.

While you might assume a workout that sends your heart rate soaring is best to torch fat and lbs, it’s actually moderately intense workouts that are ideal for burning fat. These are the ones where you’re definitely breaking a sweat, but can probably still have a conversation and don’t feel like you’re totally dying. These bring your heart rate up to 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. Those workouts where you’re dripping and can’t hold a conversation? That’s considered vigorous, where your heart rate is 70-85% of your maximum rate.

Need some ideas? Here are a couple great workouts from the FitOn app to get you into this fat-burning range:

  1. HIIT IT
  2. Tabata Toner
  3. Fat Burning HIIT

Monitor Your Heart Rate Zones To Take Your Fitness Results to The Next Level 

Once you know your maximum rate and have a tracker to monitor your heart rate, you can make sure your workout is landing you in this sweet spot for fat-burning, if that’s your goal!

Remember, knowing your numbers is a helpful tool, but don’t obsess over it so much that you take your focus off the workout itself.

As you continue your fitness journey, make sure to mix it up with both moderate and high intensity workouts for the best of both worlds—fat loss and maximum heart health.

Work your way up if you’re new, and eventually you’ll be able to hit 80% of your max heart rate, while knowing both you and your heart are getting healthier and fitter!