What Is Heart Rate
Your heart rate is the number of beats your heart completes each minute. Heart rate is also known as pulse and it is what you feel when you press on your wrist or neck to check your pulse. Your heart rate changes all the time, based on what you are doing. It changes with physical activity and also in response to an emotional stimulus such as excitement or anxiety.
Does Apple Watch Show Fat Burning Zone
Perhaps the most useful feature of the Apple Watch is its heart rate monitor. For casual exercisers, it probably isnt critical. But for frequent exercisers who want to more accurately calculate calorie expenditure or stay within a target cardio or fat burning zone, it is a crucial feature.
What is Zone 5 heart rate?
Zone 5: This effort is really tough and can only be maintained for 30-120 seconds. You will be unable to speak and will be reaching maximal blood lactate levels: you will not be able to supply the amount of oxygen you need for the intensity of the work performed.
What heart rate zone should I be in?
Zone 1: 50 to 60 percent of maximum heart rate. Zone 2: 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate. Zone 3: 70 to 80 percent of maximum heart rate. Zone 4: 80 to 90 percent of maximum heart rate.
Which Apple Watch has the best heart rate monitor?
In our testing, the Apple Watch Series 5 delivered excellent health and fitness accuracy. We tested it against a Polar H10 chest strap, a Stryd footpod, and the Fitbit Versa 2, and its heart rate readings and step counts were spot-on, so it can definitely replace a dedicated fitness tracker.
What Are The Different Heart Rate Zones On Apple Watch
The Apple Watch with watchOS 9 displays five different heart rate zones. These vary from light intensity to maximum intensity .
The interval ranges are a function of your age and vary from person to person based on age and sex.
- Zone 1 beats per minute
- Zone 2
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
The Zone intervals in BPM are derived from your max heart rate. It is therefore important that you set up your correct age in your Apple Watch profile.
If you have tried other wearables such as Polar, Fitbit, or Garmin in the past and are new to the Apple Watch, this may appear a little confusing.
Fitbit classifies heart rate zones into three easy buckets.
The Fat burning zone represents moderate intensity , Cardio Zone , and Peak Zone .
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When Apple Watch Measures Your Heart Rate
When you use the Workout app, Apple Watch measures your heart rate continuously during the workout and for 3 minutes after the workout ends to determine a workout recovery rate. If you don’t see your heart rate, check your settings.
This information, as well as other data it collects, helps Apple Watch estimate how many calories youve burned. In addition, Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when youre still, and periodically when youre walking . Since Apple Watch takes these background readings based on your activity, the time between these measurements will vary. Apple Watch also calculates a daily resting rate and walking average by correlating background heart rate readings with accelerometer data when sufficient background readings are available. You can control which third-party apps have access to your health data from the Health app in Sources.
Some anomalies may appear in the displayed data, resulting in occasional heart rate measurements that are abnormally high or low.
The Importance Of Zone 2 Training
There have been numerous studies that have looked at the advantages of Zone 2-focused training.
According to Howard Lukes, MD:
Not only will Zone 2 heart rate training boost your performance, it just might save your life. After all, your heart is just a muscle. Humans die of very predictable causes. Most chronic diseases leading to our demise have a common root cause poor metabolic health due to poor mitochondrial function. Exercising in Zones 1 and 2 will improve your mitochondrial number, function, efficiency, and fitness. Exercising in zone 3 and above will not improve your aerobic health.
Zone 2 training is also referred to as base training. All elite athletes spend months base training. At least 75-80% of their active training is also in Zone 2.
You can also include a lot of Zone 5 Training if you want to increase your VO2 Max.
Peter Attia, MD, provides some fascinating insights around VO2 max and Zone 5 training.
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Best Heart Rate Monitor Apps For Apple Watch In 2022
Although Apple Watch sensors measure our heart rates precisely, people love to use some third-party apps. These apps provide neat and clean user interface and easy-to-understand metrics. It also allow users to customize their fitness activities and workouts. To make your life easy, we have listed some of the best heart rate monitor apps for Apple Watch.
Finding Your Resting And Maximum Heart Rates
Your heart rate is at its slowest when you are resting, because your body is not using much fuel. So a good time to check it is just after you wake up.
If you normally put on your Apple Watch each morning while you are still in bed, then the first readings of the day will be your resting heart rate. For an accurate figure, take an average of these readings over a week. Typically this is somewhere between 60 to 100 BPM.
Your maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can safely go. This varies a lot from one person to another. One rule of thumb for estimating it is to deduct your age from 220. For example, Im 44 years old, so according to this formula, my maximum heart rate would be 176 BPM. .
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Setting Up Custom Heart Rate Zones On The Apple Watch
If you decide to set up custom heart rate zones, tap on Manual.
Now you can set up each heart rate zone according to your preference and training goals.
You can use the Karvonen method to help you compute a target heart rate zone.
Heart rate reserve, also known as the Karvonen method, is a way to calculate your target heart rate zone using your resting heart rate.
The benefit of using this method is that it further personalizes your training zones, given that the resting heart rate varies from person to person.
To calculate your resting heart rate, count the number of times your heart beats in 1 minute after you wake up.
For ease of accessing this information, you can simply look up the Resting heart rate on your Apple Watch and then use the formula below to compute your target heart rate.
- + HRrest = Target heart rate
- Example: HRmax = 184 HRrest = 65 desired intensity = 70%
- + 65 = Target heart rate
- + 65 = Target heart rate
- 83.3 + 65 = 148 (rounded down to the nearest bpm
However, for most people, the Automatic setting provided by the Apple Watch is good enough.
Track Heart Rate During Workouts
Now when you start a workout, you can track your heart rate. At your watch’s home screen or a watch face, like the Activity face, tap the Workout icon . At the Workout screen, tap the entry for the type of workout you’re about to perform, such as Outdoor Walk, Indoor Cycle, Elliptical, and Core Training, among other workouts.
To better control and time your workout, tap on the ellipsis icon next to the workout to enter the number of calories, time, distance, or another goal you wish to achieve. As you work out, your watch displays the elapsed time, active calories being burned, total calories being burned, and your heart rate.
After you’ve completed the workout, the watch displays your average heart rate and the range for your heart rate during the exercise. Tap Done to record the workout.
You can review your heart rate and other factors for past workouts by opening the Fitness app on your iPhone . The Summary section shows you a chart for the current day. The Workouts section shows you each day on which a workout was recorded.
Tap the Show More link to go further back in time. Tap a specific workout to see its details. The screen displays your average heart rate for this workout. If the workout lasted long enough, a chart at the bottom shows how your heart rate fluctuates during the activity.
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How Apple Watch Measures Your Heart Rate
The optical heart sensor in Apple Watch uses what is known as photoplethysmography. This technology, while difficult to pronounce, is based on a very simple fact: Blood is red because it reflects red light and absorbs green light. Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with lightsensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment. When your heart beats, the blood flow in your wrist and the green light absorption is greater. Between beats, its less. By flashing its LED lights hundreds of times per second, Apple Watch can calculate the number of times the heart beats each minute your heart rate. The optical heart sensor supports a range of 30210 beats per minute. In addition, the optical heart sensor is designed to compensate for low signal levels by increasing both LED brightness and sampling rate.
The optical heart sensor can also use infrared light. This mode is what Apple Watch uses when it measures your heart rate in the background, and for heart rate notifications. Apple Watch uses green LED lights to measure your heart rate during workouts and Breathe sessions, and to calculate walking average and Heart Rate Variability .
*ECG isn’t supported on Apple Watch SE. The ECG app is currently available only in certain countries and regions. Learn where the ECG app is available.
Keep An Eye On Your Target Heart Rate Zones During Your Workouts
watchOS 9 gives you even more data about your heart rate during a workout!
Fitness has always been a huge part of the Apple Watch, but watchOS 9 takes fitness to the next level. With a ton more metrics to track and more features, you can get more data on your wrist while you break a sweat. One of the biggest fitness improvements on watchOS 9 is the ability to see and track heart rate zones during a workout.
Once you have watchOS 9, youll be able to set any type of workout to show your heart rate zones, so if youre out for a run, youll be able to check your watch and see what heart rate zone youre in. Its a pretty handy metric, and its even customizable. Heres how to use, view, and track heart rate zones on Apple Watch.
Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. Thats why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.
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Maximum Heart Rate Formula
This and other MHR prediction equations are the subjects of ongoing research since they tend to underestimate the MHR for people over age 30. That means that if you are older than 30 years of age, it may be more accurate to use +11/-11 deviation from the number as a more acceptable range.
So if you are 35 years of age with a maximum heart rate of 183 , the estimate would be between 172 to 194. For women and older adults, the maximum heart rate may be a little higher.
Some fitness trackers or smartwatches measure your resting heart rate automatically, and then use that information to suggest and measure target heart rate. An advantage of using these devices to find your target heart rate is that they can be easily updated by the manufacturer to match the current research-backed zones.
How To Show The Heart Rate Zone Workout View On Apple Watch
Workout Views are a new feature in watchOS 9 that allows you to choose which information is available on your screen when you’re in the middle of a workout. For example, to see your target heart rate zones, you need to enable the Workout View that has them by following the steps alone.
This will work for any type of workout, whether it’s an open goal, calorie goal, time goal, etc. You should be able to set the Workout View you want for anything. Of course, now that you enabled the heart rate zone Workout View, you’ll want to know you to see it during a workout.
Also Check: What Is Considered Normal Heart Rate
Complete Guide To Apple Watch Heart Rate Zones
Apple has incorporated a multitude of new features in its upcoming watchOS. One of these features is the heart rate zones. While heart rate zones as a feature are available on Fitbit and Garmin platforms, Apple Watch did not offer the feature until watchOS 9.
In this guide, we explore the concept of Heart Rate zones in detail and provide a deeper understanding of this useful metric and how you can leverage it for your wellness and training programs.
Where Can I Find The Maximum Heart Rate
You can check out your maximum heart rate on the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- Start by opening up the watch app on your iPhone and tap on Workout.
- Much like the earlier section, tap on Heart Rate Zones.
- If your Heart Rate Zone is set to Automatic, the number next to Maximum shows your Maximum Heart rate .
Please note that Max heart rate, the highest heart rate you can safely hit during exercisedecreases with age regardless of lifestyle or level of fitness.
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My Background As A Certified Personal Trainer
First things first: some bona fides. I am a personal trainer, and I specialize in what’s called corrective exercise and working with at-risk populationsindividuals with certain special considerations, barriers, or obstacles to health and exercise. The information contained in this article was included in my certification, and it’s information I use regularly as part of my day-to-day training responsibilities.
That said, it’s important to remember that the information in this article is not meant to replace professional medical advice. I know I know, you’ve heard it before, but it’s important to say. Please check with your doctor prior to starting any health or fitness routine! Only a medical professional who knows your health history can give you the most accurate calculations for your target heart rate.
The information I share with you here will be directly from reputable medical sources, such as the American Heart Association, Johns Hopkins, the Centers for Disease Control , and Mayo Clinic. My goal is to make the information easily accessible to you all in one place, and to help you apply what you learn to your exercise habits while using your iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple Fitness Plus, and other accessories and services.
How To Set Up Your Heart Rate Zone On The Apple Watch
We explained earlier that your Heart Rate Zone depends on your max, calculated using the formula 220 your age.
Apple Watch allows users to edit and adjust the heart rate zone to their preference.
Please note that If you decide to set your zones manually, they wont automatically adjust as you age. Youll have to reset them every few years as your max heart rate declines.
Here is how you can check the settings for Heart Rate Zone :
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Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor: Let’s Talk About Accuracy
It all sounds good in practice, but it comes down to whether this can truly deliver an accurate monitoring experience from the wrist.
And for the most part, the Apple Watch does this as well as any wrist wearable on the market. After all, while the same technology is being used to gather the data, it’s how this is then interpreted which leads to accuracy or inaccuracy.
Through our testing of the Watch against a chest strap over the last few years, we’ve found it to be one of the more consistent performers. However, that doesn’t mean it’s free from the same limitations as the other smartwatches and fitness trackers using optical sensor technology. That is, when drifting quickly between low and high beats per minute during intense intervals, it can often struggle to keep up.
Read next: Heart rate monitors chest straps v wrist
In our experience, such as in the example below, we tend to see average heart reading slightly higher than the number given by chest straps, but this is nothing too drastic if you’re just looking to keep a basic tab on your beats.
It’s also worth pointing out that, in order to receive the most accurate results, you need to ensure that the fit on your wrist is right. That means you can’t have it too tight, or too loose. Your skin needs to be in contact with the sensors at all times, but with room left for your skin to breathe.