Monday, March 12, 2007

Aerobic exercise & estimate of the target heart rate.(THR)


Aerobic Exercise:

Most people think that any kind of vigorous exercise qualifies as aerobic ...Think again. To be truly aerobic, an exercise must work large groups of muscles for a period lasting as least 15 t0 20 minutes, Typical examples of aerobic exercise are swimming, Fast walking, running, bicycling, cross-country skiing and some of the livelier forms of dance.

Like all the other muscles in the body, the heart needs exercise to stay healthy. Because aerobic activity forces the heart to pump large quantities of oxygen – rich blood to the muscles for a sustained period of time, it gradually strengthens the heart muscle. As a result, the hart works more efficiently and can better meet the body’s daily demands for oxygen without undue stress.

When you begin to exercise, your heart rate increases rapidly in proportion to your exercise intensity. Your heart rate increases directly as you increase your exercise intensity. Until you are near the Point of exhaustion as in Olympic cross-country skiing. As that point is approached. Your heart rate begins to level off. This indicates that you are approaching your maximum value. The maximum hearts is the highest heart rate value you achieve in all-out effort to the point of exhaustion. This is a highly reliable value that remains constant from day to day changes slightly from day to day changes only slightly from year to year.

As little as 20 to 40 minutes of aerobics three to four times a week can do the following: burn excess fat, combat stress and fatigue, build stronger bones lower blood pressure (particularly in woman following menopause) increase HDL, cholesterol (the “good” kind), improved sleep, quell anxiety, spark creativity and add years to your life.


Estimate of maximum heart rate can be made based on your age. Subtracting your age from 220 provides an approximation of your average maximum heart rate. The target heart rate (THR) helps you to train at the appropriate intensity to maximize performance benefits of your training efforts.

To determine your target-zone heart rate, you must first estimate your maximal heart rate. It can be measured by:

220-Age (in Years) = ------------------------------(MHR) Multiply that number by 0.6 and 0.85 (0.75 instead of 0.85 if you’re over 65). These 2 numbers are the lower and upper limits for your exercising heart rate.

Now you can estimate your Target-zone heart rate:

Lower level = 0.60 X MHR = ----------------------------
This is your target zone for 60% of your maximum heart rate.

Upper level = 0.85 X MHR = ----------------------------
This is your target zone for 85% of your maximum heart rate.


Determine your resting heart rate by lying down for one minute while listening to calming music and then check your pulse. Count the number of heartbeats that occur in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by 6.

Example : 12 beats in 10 sec. = 12 x 6 = 72

Complete the target heart rate worksheet (.Refer THR worksheet.)

Do a 12 – minute walk/run at 4-munite intervals. At these intervals, find your Heart rate and check to see if you are in your range that you calculated Remember, count the number of heartbeats that occur in 10 seconds.( Refer THR worksheet.)

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