No silly, not to eat 400 calories. Though most of us could do that in 5 seconds with the right cream filled donut. I’m talking a good old workout session that gets the heart pumping and the sweat dripping from your ears. Sound too tough? Don’t worry.
Depending on what fitness level you’re starting at, be it starting from your couch or 6 exhausting workouts a week, everyone can benefit from these suggestions. The key ingredient is knowing your resting heart rate and heart rate training zone. This allows anyone to perform an exercise/workout and determine how intense to ramp it up or ramp it down.
You’ll need to figure out your resting heart rate first. This is the number your doctor finds when taking your pulse. The most accurate way to calculate your resting heart rate is upon waking, before you get up and before coffee or breakfast. Grab your watch or use the stopwatch on your phone. With your “peace fingers”, love that term from yoga class, this is your index finger and middle finger, place these fingers either on your carotid artery (to the side of the Adam’s Apple area) or on your radial artery (below your wrist and to the side of the ligaments). Once you feel your pulse, begin counting for 60 seconds. You’ll need the full minute to get a more accurate count. The result is your resting hear rate (RHR), an average healthy person has a RHR in the 70’s, a fit person is between 50-70. As you get into better cardiovascular condition your RHR will decrease, this is a great way to monitor your progress too because the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.
I live by this formula. It’s where I start all of my clients so they have a focus when completing their cardio for the week because it’s no fun to get on the treadmill putting one foot in front of the other, thinking the whole time that we should be going faster, steeper, harder. Don’t you agree? The Karvonen Formula gives you permission to stay right where you are as long as it’s in the zone. Here’s the formula:
The results give you a range between your low and high target heart rate (i.e. 120-155 beats per minute). The next step is to find a way to monitor your heart rate, here are some suggestions:
If the number you get is higher than your THR zone then scale back your intensity. If the number you get is lower, then you’ll need to kick it up a bit to raise your heart rate. Where you are within your target heart rate zone is another post to come. For now, focus on calculating your zone, getting into it, and staying there.
*Calories burn based on the results for a 160 lbs person
If you are doing the KYG 30-Day Challenge, you’ll see that Days 5, 7, 15, and 24 instruct you to get in some cardio exercise besides the 4 home workout videos offered on most other day. Change up your cardio and you’ll enjoy keeping your workouts fresh. By using your THR as a guide, you’ll get a more effective workout without the guesswork. Get out there and burn 400 calories, not eat them. Go get it!