How can I use my heart rate for a more efficient workout?

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Here are the basics you need to know about using your heart rate for a more efficient workout.

Determine your maximum heart rate. This is 220 minus your age, so it would be 190 (220-30) for a 30-year-old, and 180 (220-40) for a 40-year-old.

Know the different intensity levels and what fits your goal. Following are three heart-rate zones (as percentages of your maximum heart rate) that you can aim for:
  • Warm-up: 61 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Get your cardio system ready for takeoff.
  • Fat burn: 71 to 83 percent of your maximum heart rate. This zone should make up one-third to one-half of an hour-long workout.
  • Metabolism boost: 84 to 91 percent of your maximum heart rate. Spending time in this zone, for a total of about 12 to 20 minutes, creates an afterburn effect, increasing metabolism and burning extra calories for a period of up to 36 hours.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.