220 – current age = maximum heart rate zone
Recovery zone: 50% – 60% maximum heart rate zone
The recovery zone is where you want to be while cooling down. You want to get your heart to this point before hopping into a shower to clean up. A short walk can get you down to this after a vigorous exercise.
Temperate heart rate zone: 60% – 70% maximum heart rate
The temperate heart rate zone is what you are aiming for when you are warming up the body for a full aerobic workout.
Aerobic heart rate zone: 70% – 80% maximum heart rate zone
The aerobic heart rate zone is also the fat burning heart rate zone. Once you hit this zone your body is a fat burning furnace and it steaming through the calories stored in your body.
Target heart rat zone: 70% – 85% maximum heart rate
The target heart rate, like aerobic heart rate zone, is the fat burning zone. You want to stay in this zone throughout a cardio exercise unless you are doing HIIT exercises (in which case you’ll want to stay in this zone and above).
Threshold heart rate zone: 80% – 90% maximum heart rate zone
The threshold heart rate zone should only be used for short bursts. In combination with the redline zone, the threshold heart rate zone is used for high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT).
Redline heart rate zone: 90% – 100% maximum heart rate zone
The redline zone is used during HIIT. You get up into the threshold and redline zones for 1 – 2 minutes and then drop down back to the aerobic or target heart rate zone.
You can also use the Mayo Clinic’s maximum heart rate calculator which estimates your target heart rate zone for you. Or you can use the Team Beach Body maximum heart rate calculator, which calculates your recovery, temperate, aerobic, threshold and redline zones for you.
How do you calculate your heart rate zone while exercising? Many people, when first starting to track their heart rate zones, try to take their pulse while still moving. This isn’t going to work. You need to stop for at least 15 seconds to take your pulse and then multiply that number by 4. Start moving as soon as you finish.
Want to be more efficient? Try a heart rate monitor.
I prefer the Bowflex Classic 10S in pink – it comes in black, too for those who don’t want to be pretty while exercising – for $60.