Ever wonder what the difference is between all those heart rate zones you see on the treadmill? It goes without saying that the harder you work, the faster your heart rate. But the zones can be confusing – especially the difference between the CARDIO HEART RATE ZONE and the FAT BURNING ZONE. Heart rate zones are calculated from percentages of your maximum heart rate.
- Warm-up Zone – Heart Rate at 50 – 60% Max. This is the easiest zone and is a good starting point for those beginning a workout program. Skipping the warm-up stage can increase your risk of injury. A proper warm-up increases blood flow to the muscles and flexibility in the joints, preparing the body for activity. CLICK FOR MORE ON WARM-UPS
- Fat-Burning Zone – Heart Rate at 60 – 70% Max. This zone is slightly more intense than the warm-up, requiring your body to burn more calories. At this moderate intensity level, the fat burning zone has a heart rate range in which a greater percentage of calories burned come from fat stores. The overall number of fat calories burned however, will be less than what you would burn in the same amount of time exercising in the cardio zone.
- Cardio Zone – Heart Rate at 70 – 80% Max. The challenging nature of this zone causes the heart and lungs to work harder, improving overall cardio-respiratory fitness. Your body accesses more carbohydrates and less fat calories with an increased pace of activity. So a smaller percent of the calories burned are from fat. However, the overall number of calories burned, from fat or otherwise, will be greater in the cardio zone rather than that of the fat-burning zone.
- Performance Training Zone – Heart Rate at 80 – 90% Max. The body enters an anaerobic training mode. This means that oxygen is no longer the primary cellular fuel and lactic acid is being produced in the muscles, causing fatigue and burning. This is an intense and difficult heart-rate zone that will greatly improve both muscular and cardio-respiratory endurance.