40-Somethings - Heart Rate and Exercising...

View Full Version : Heart Rate and Exercising...

01-03-2009, 07:20 PM
Have been going to the gym regularly since October...had a trainer for 10 weeks and loved it...hubby gave me my wish and entered me into The Biggest Loser hosted by the YMCA. During my initial consultation, I was told to keep my heart rate no higher than 139 to encourage my body to burn fat. I normally keep it around 155-160 (this is where I sweat). I did the treadmil for 30 mins and felt it was a complete waist of time-I wasn't winded. Am I suppose to stay on the treadmil longer for the same affect just to keep my heart rate within the 139. I could use the extra time for weights...I'm hoping someone here will tell me she was wrong...

btw: age 46

01-03-2009, 07:25 PM
She was wrong. :) The "fat-burning zone" is a myth (just google "myth of the fat burning zone" for a million references). The fact is that the higher your heartrate, the more calories you burn.

It sounds like 155 - 160 is the right zone for you to be in. At age 46, your max HR is roughly 174. Working in the 155 - 160 zone puts you at at a moderately high to high intensity zone and is good both for cardiovascular fitness and calorie burning. Keep up the good work!

Shannon in ATL
01-03-2009, 08:07 PM
I've heard other people say that the 'fat burning zone' was invented to sell more stuff, don't know if that is true. I do know that like Meg says the 'fat burning zone' is a myth.

It is basic math - the higher your heart rate the more calories you burn. As you burn more calories the percentage of fat calories burned compared to regular calories burned goes down, but the number of calories and of fat calories still goes up.

I'm 36 and I keep my heart rate between 155-170 regularly, often get up to 185 without really feeling winded depending on the workout. My new HRM ranked my fitness at 42, which it called 'very good', anything 44 or greater was considered 'elite'. I know I built up to that strong a cardiovascular rating from keeping my heart rate higher than the 'fat burning zone' for the last eight months of exercise!

You sound like you are in a great range at 155-160. It will do nothing but good things. Good luck! :)

01-03-2009, 08:09 PM
Meg and Shannon - :hug:

I will keep it up - Thank You!