Monday, August 27, 2012

Monitor your Heart - Giveaway!

This week in the #LoseAMarathon weight loss challenge was all about heart rate training. Whether or not you are participating in #LoseAMarathon, I invite you to participate in this mini challenge.  I found the challenge intriguing since I've read so much about heart rate training in fitness instruction and weight loss. I typically workout pretty hard (by perceived exertion standards), so I was positive I was getting the best results possible, right?! Until I discovered that I may be working too much in the anaerobic zone - burning glucose rather than my unwanted fat. What?! 

The mini challenge was an introduction to heart rates... to figure out your heart rate zones and monitor your heart during normal weekly activities. Here's the assignment...

1) Figure out your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). Try the Simplistic method for ease... Subtract your age from 220 (226 for women). For example, a 37 yr old women (like me!) would look like this: 226-37= 189 is my Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). If you’d like a more accurate read, see your doctor or try the Karvonen Method.

2) Calculate your heart rate for the five different zones. Using a calculator, simply multiply your MHR by the appropriate decimal. For example, the base of my Aerobic/Moderate Zone would be 70% of 189 (.70 x 189) equaling 132. Use the chart below for zone percentages.
3) Learn HOW to take your heart rate. Using your pointer and index fingers, gently locate your pulse on either your wrist or in the nook of your neck. Once you locate a strong pulse, count the beats over the course of 20 seconds (obviously use a clock that has a second hand). Multiply that number by 3 to figure your beats per minute (bpm). For example, as I’m typing this (at a fairly resting heart rate), I counted 24 beats while holding the pulse on my neck.  24 x 3 = 72 beats per minute (bpm). The more you practice, the easier it gets to locate and count. Obviously if I was in the middle of running, that number would be much higher. That is the old-school way that I was taught in PhyEd class. Today, of course, there is numerous products on the market that will measure your heart rate for you. Many machines like treadmills and ellipticals have a built-in heart rate monitor that you simply place your hands on and it will read your heart rate. Or you can purchase a heart rate monitor (watch + chest strap) that you wear during exercise and it will display your heart rate at all times during your workout. Enter below for your chance to WIN a Mio heart rate monitor!

4) Monitor and record your heart rate this week. What is your resting heart rate when you first wake up? How about when you’re doing housework? Out for a walk? Hard exercise? Compare your perceived exertion with your actual heart rate. What zone are you running in? There is all kinds of opinions online about which zone is best for weight loss - I invite you to do your own reading and research there. This challenge is about familiarizing yourself with heart rate training and what it is.
Print this worksheet HERE to help with the Heart Rate mini challenge.


Congrats to Tiffaney V.
on winning the Heart Rate Monitor!
Please email your shipping address to me at runwithjess@comcast.net



a Rafflecopter giveaway

47 comments:

  1. That chart was so helpful! I try to monitor my heart rate but that made it so much easier to understand how and why each stage is there!

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  2. Thanks for all your help. I've tried to focus on getting in the right zone before. Your post makes it easy to figure out where my HR needs to be.

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  3. I love the chart too because it reminded my why I need to train in each zone. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. I knew my max heart rate but I learned more about target zones for different goals! I am usually in the hard category when doing cardio but maybe I should bump it down a notch to get more weight loss out of my workout.

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  5. Actually doing the math with the different percentages is an eye-opener for me! I haven't checked my heart rate while I'm actually running, but based on my perceived exertion level I'm sure I'm going too hard as well.

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  6. I think with the weather this summer, running by heart rate is a great way to know how your body is doing in the temperatures!

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  7. I learned I can't check my heart rate. I definitely need more practice!

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  8. I need to be better at heart rate tracking (first step would be to actually wear my monitor!).

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  9. Thanks! I've been paying close attention to my heart rate as of late!

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  11. My MHR is 180 per #1. I usually feel like I'm busting my ass at 165 though. Not quite sure what exactly that means but probably I need more cardio!

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  12. (Not entering the contest because I already have a HRM, just commenting. :)) Heart rate training is such a great idea and I generally try to keep my runs at the right effort, but sometimes I'm really naughty and I cheat and go a little harder than I should. I need to set up my Garmin to beep at me when I go too hard; maybe that will keep me in line. Also, for any of you who feel like the calculators tell you your max heart rate is too low, wear a heart rate monitor and go run a 5K at hard effort. You might find that your MHR is actually a lot higher--I did.

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  13. I've not really concerned myself with heart rate training before but now that I've calculated it and understand how getting my heart rate up (and keeping it up) will help me get faster maybe I need to!! :)

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  14. My cousin has used a HR monitor to successfully lose weight, where she hasn't been able to before. I am diligently saving my pennies to get one, as well. Jess, do you wear one? If so, what kind do you use? My cousin's is one that you can put in your variable, such as weight, age, etc. Then it measures your VO2 max, so you get more accurate readings. Pretty awesome!!

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  15. I was surpised to see that I'm probably working too hard. My heart rate is generally in the 80-100% category when I'm running and then it comes down to 65-70% when I walk. Since I'm trying to lose weight I've started trying to stay on the lower range.

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  16. I think it's interesting that you can prevent injuries by staying within a certain heart range, and I actually train too hard!

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  17. One thing I am not very good at is keeping an eye on my heart rate. This is definitely a watch that I would love!

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  18. I found out that I'm training too hard most of the time:( it would be much easier to monitor with that lovely watch;)

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  19. My target HR is much higher than I thought and it's hard for me to get there. I've been slacking and didn't realize it!!

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  20. I am working on getting back into running after an injury, and it seems really hard for me. Now I realize, I was doing a lot of the running at close to 90% of my target heart rate! I need to slow it down until I build some base fitness back. A heart rate monitor would really help me!

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  21. Thanks for the information, great post!

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  22. Jessica Bruns, happy facebook fanAugust 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I check my restingheart rate frequently. My resting has went from upper 70s-low 80s to 58 with my training! Love your blog/posts!

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  23. I've been check my heart rate. The chart made it easier for me to understand!

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  24. This is helpful, I realized that my slow running isn't slow according to my hr. I think that if I trained by hr, I could do my half marathon training a lot easier, I 'd probably feel better about it too.

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    1. I should have said 'easy' runs, not slow - like long runs in half marathon training are supposed to be 'slower' than the half marathon pace, but my heart rate says I'm not going 'easy' enough. :)

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  25. I've never paid any attention to my heart rate, so I found this so interesting and intriguing. Definitely something to consider in the future!

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  26. I try to monitor my heart rate by how I feel. But I think that may not be good enough. I monitor would help me be a bit more scientific and accurate.

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  27. Super cool! What I learned is that when I'm loping on the elliptical thinking that I'm not working hard enough b/c my heart rate is logging in at 122, that I'm actually in the optimal fat burn zone (112.8 to 131.6 for me). Now instead of using the stairmaster when I get home, I will get on the elliptical cuz I "may" have some extra fat to burn right now. :o)

    Huge help for me and I would love to win that heart rate monitor to help me achieve the next goal! Thanks, Jess!

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  28. I learned that my resting heart rate first thing in the morning is faster than usual after a hard workout the day prior. This clues me in to take an easy day.

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  29. I learned that what I thought I was reaching as a heart rate while running or bike riding wasn't anywhere near what it actually was. No wonder I'm at a standstill with the weight loss!

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  30. I learned that just because I don't feel like I'm getting a great workout doesn't mean I'm not burning fat.

    Wonderful learning opportunity.

    -a

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  31. I realize that my preferred running speed keeps me pretty deep into zone 3. That's a long time to be at max HR!

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  32. Had no idea until I saw this chart. Now it makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for this...and for helping me to get a better burn for my workouts.

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  33. I did a cardio point testat my gym last year that measured my max heart rate, max o2, etc while using a mask to breathe into and running on a treadmill at increasing inclines. They came up with a 8 week plan to increase my metabolic threshold and vo2 max--and let me tell you I learned a ton! It was definitely hard to maintain each heart rate zone without feeling like a snail. Inclines definitely up the heart rate.

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  34. Cool! I am always left wondering if I do things "the right way". As if there ever is any, but additional information helps make sure I am working it, not slacking off or pushing too hard.

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  35. I've honestly never understood why people monitor their heart rates, but you made it so simple to understand! I learned that my HR is not beating as fast as I thought it was when I run and so I need to push myself more... Can't wait to learn more!

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  36. I get it now! I thought your exercise was fabulous. I learned that even with something I thought was "easy" with my body - my heart is still racing! Planking for example. Man! I was up in the 150 range coming out of a plank! Craziness. I sure hope I win!

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  37. Thank you for putting that into plain English. I kind of knew some of it, but it really laid it out for me. I was very happy to see that my resting rate has come down a lot since I have been consistently exercising. I'm obviously doing something right :) Thanks again, Jess for another great challenge!!!

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  38. Wow!! I am a new runner (who's a little fluffier than she would like) and I learned that I am pushing myself way too hard this early on. I need to slow down and focus on the long haul rather than getting everything pumping so fast at the gate!

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  39. I learned that I usually work out about my fat burning my heart rate so I need to slow down a little!
    Linda P

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  40. This was the key to my learning how to "push it!" I can no thank you enough for this! I learned so much!

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  41. That I'm actually pretty much training where I should be using these methods.

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  42. I learner I work out too hard. My hr goes way too high.

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  43. Thanks for the great and easy to understand info. I have never tracked my HR before, ever, but no learned that maybe I should especially during workouts.

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  44. I finally learned that the weight loss zone is different from the "push it" zone. I didn't realize that. Thanks for the great information.

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  45. Hmmmm......didn't know there was a difference between hard and maximum.....it all feels like maximum to me! LOL!

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  46. I need to bring it down a bit and try and burn some fat! I need to build up more gradually.

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I appreciate your feedback and comments!