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Important Facts About Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Intensity is key to improving cardiorespiratory fitness, or CR. The intensity of an aerobic exercise directly affects how hard it is. The intensity of aerobic exercise has a direct correlation with how much energy is expended per hour. You can gauge how hard you work by monitoring your heart rate while exercising or working out. You can only determine how intense your workouts are by monitoring your heart rate.

In other terms, your ability and skill to monitor your heartbeat is essential to CR training. The U.S. Army fitness specialists have two ways to calculate THR. The first method, percent maximal heart rate (%MHR), can be used more easily, while the second, percent of heart rate reserve (%HRR), can be used more accurately. The estimated maximum heart rate is used to calculate the THR. The MHR (maximum heart rate) can be estimated by subtracting your years from 220. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. A 20 year-old in good health would have a THR (temporal heart rate) of 160 beats/minute (BPM). 20-20 = 200 *.80= 160 BPM. An average 30 year-old would have a heart rate of 152 BPM (THR). 220 – 30, = 190.80 = 152 BPM. 40 year olds in poor physical health would have a tHR of 126 BPM. 220 – 40 = 180*.70 = 128 BPM.%HRR MethodThis method calculates THR more accurately. The THR range between 60 and 90 %HRR represents the range where people should exercise to improve CR fitness. Knowing your CR fitness level will help you determine the right HRR for you. To illustrate, a person in excellent health might start at 85% of his HRR. However, if they are in reasonably good condition, they could go to 70 percent HRR. If a person is in good health, he may find it more beneficial to work at a higher HRR.

The heart, muscles, lungs, and brain will not benefit from a workout at a lower rate than 60 percent HRR. It is dangerous to exercise at a higher than 90% HRR. Before you begin aerobic training, know your THR. This is the heart rate at that you must exercise in order for it to have an effect. Below is an example showing how to calculate THR using resting and active heart rates (RHR) and age (HRR) to calculate heart rate reserve. This example is for a 20-year-old in good physical condition.

STEP 1: Add your age to 220 to calculate the MHR. MHR is equal to 200 when you subtract 20 from 220.

STEP 2 – Determine the resting beat rate (RHR), in beats/minute (BPM) using a 30-second count of the resting pulse. Add two to the count. It is possible to use a shorter duration, but it is more accurate to use a count of 30 seconds. You should take this count while you are fully relaxed and well rested. In this case, the RHR is 69 BPM.

STEP 3: Subtract the RHR from your estimate MHR to determine the heart rate reserve (HRR). i.e. The heart rate is 131 beats per minute, which is calculated by subtracting 69 from 200.

STEP 4. Calculate THR. You multiply the HRR times the relative fitness percentage as a percentage. Example: A 20-year-old in good physical condition would exercise at 70% HRR. (1).70 * 131 = 91.7(2) 91.7 + 69 = 160.7

An average 20-yearold with a normal heart rate (RHR), of 69 BPM can set a training goal of 161 BPM. To determine your THR target, monitor your heartbeat immediately after you exercise. You should decrease the intensity of your exercise if your pulse rate exceeds the THR.