According to most studies and research, to burn fat effectively, you need to maintain 60% - 80% of your maximum heart rate.
From professional athletes to everyday people like us, identifying the right “heart rate zone” to burn off excess fat is essential to your fitness journey of getting in shape and leading a healthier lifestyle.
What heart rate is normal?
Your normal heart rate, or more accurately, your “resting heart rate” refers to the heart rate that you have while not undertaking any intense physical activity.
Essentially, your “resting heart rate” is the number of times your heart beats per minute (while not physically active).
The normal resting heart rate of a healthy person without any underlying health conditions ranges anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
In general, a lower heart rate indicates a better function of the heart, as it means that your heart’s operation is more efficient.
For example, an athlete’s heart can beat to around 40-50 beats per minute.
On the other hand, a higher heart rate is often linked to obesity, cardiovascular health problems and illnesses, sedentary lifestyles, and bad smoking and drinking habits.
To check your resting heart rate, it’s advised to do so in the morning after your wake up.
What factors affect heart rate?
As with everything that has to do with our bodies and well being, there isn’t a single factor that affects them. When it comes to heart rate, several key factors can influence it:
- Fitness status
- Physical activity
- Smoking habits
- Drinking habits
- Fat percentage
- Body weight
- Cardiovascular diseases and chronic conditions
- Other diseases and illnesses
- Air temperature
What is a healthy heart rate for my age?
According to AHA the below figures are indicative only, and you should always consult with your own doctor as they are the only ones who can accurately advise you:
As mentioned earlier, please take these figures with a grain of salt as they are indicative. Please consult with your physician.
How to lower a rapid heart rate
There are a few steps that you can take if you want to lower a rapid heart rate. A rapid heart rate can occur for various reasons: intense physical activity, stress, nervousness, etc.
To lower your heart rate try any of the below:
- Sit down and take slow, deep breaths
- Lie down in bed and close your eyes
- Take a warm shower
- Stretch slowly
- Walk at a slow pace
Walking and stretching are especially useful if you want to cool down after a workout. Just as warming up, cooling down after a workout or a sports session is highly recommended by the AHA.
After any physical activity, your heart is beating at a faster rate than normal, and your body temperature is elevated.
Start your cooldown session by stretching as your muscles are still warm from the workout, and you need to reduce the buildup of lactic acid that was produced during the workout.
Then, walk for about 5 to 10 minutes very slowly until your heartrate drops below 120 BPM. A quick tip: you can use the built-in heart monitor handles if you're walking on a treadmill.