When Is The Best Time Of Day To Work Out
Trying to find the best time for exercise? The truth is, its personal! Follow these tips to figure out what fitness routine works best for you.
Dawn, dusk or dead of night whens the best time to work out? Well, that depends on whens the best time for you, because the benefits of physical activity depend upon how consistent you are.
You might have heard that the best time to exercise is early in the morning to get your metabolism going or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your workout. But if youre not a morning person, it may not work for you to try to get up at dawn to work out. The key is to do whats most likely to work for you consistently.
If your schedule isnt predictable, you may need to be flexible and have a plan for various times of day.
If you find that working out too late in the evening keeps you from falling asleep easily, shift your exercise session earlier in the day or try less intense, more mindful forms of movement.
Is Resting Heart Rate Different By Age
For most of us , between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal.1 The rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. An athlete or more active person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Now thats chill!
When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. It usually means your heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.2
Cardio Exercise Heart Rate
Your cardio exercise heart rate has a big impact on the outcome of your workout. Keep it too low and you won’t induce the stress that helps your cardiovascular and respiratory system improve let it run too high and you’ll burn out before your workout is through.
The factors that determine your heart rate during cardiovascular exercise include age, sex, fitness level and exercise goals. It’s possible to increase your cardiovascular fitness by exercising at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate but a rate of 70 to 90 percent is considered ideal. Your maximum heart rate is influenced by your age, gender and genetics.
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Zone : 70%80% Of Max Heart Rate
In zone 3, your activity level is “moderate.” This level of exercise improves your lung and heart endurancethe length of time that you can continue to exercise without taking a break. If you’re running, you’re breathing harder. You can still speak, but you’re only able to do it one sentence at a time.
How Do I Test My Heart Rate
Heart rate monitors, many cardio machines, and smart watches all offer heart rate tracking. But you can also test it yourself.
To test your heart rate, place the tips of your index and middle fingers over the radial artery, in line with the base of the thumb, and apply light pressure to it. Do not use your thumb because it has a pulse of its own. Either count the beats for one full minute to get your heart rate, or for 30 seconds, then multiply by two to calculate your BPM.
Skip the fasted cardio. Hydrate and give your muscles fuel to perform with BCAAs before early-morning training.VIEW ALL
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Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
The Wahoo Tickr X is a versatile heart rate monitor that stores up to 50 hours of data, so you can go weeks without carrying your phone or downloading your dataand despite having more than twice as much memory as the Garmin HRM-Tri, its a lot cheaper. Thats probably because you cant swim with it, but you can track cycling in addition to running, where you can track metrics like cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time in addition to your heart rate.
The Tickr X isnt notable just for its onboard storage. It has dual ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, and has the advantage of supporting up to three Bluetooth connections at once. With about 500 hours of battery life, you might be able to go a full year before you have to swap out the battery. It also includes some thoughtful conveniences, like status LED lights that let you see at a glance if the HRM is on or off.
How To Use Your Heart
Not everyone needs to pay attention to heart-rate zones while exercising. If your main goal is to lose weight, burning more calories is key. All of the above training zones burn calories, but the more intense your workout, the more calories you burn. But before you push yourself to your heart-rate limits during your next workout, know that while a higher intensity workout will burn calories faster, it may also make you burn out faster and increase your risk of injury, which could put you behind in your training.
In fact, some evidence suggests that heart-rate zones aren’t always what they promise and that the main goal for weight loss should be burning calories. This is why a longer, moderate workout can be just as effective at achieving weight loss or in some cases even more effective in the long term, because it’s more sustainable over time.
If like me, however, you’re preparing for a race, the intensity of your workout matters. I knew I needed to increase my speed to reach my time goal, so I aimed to stay in vigorous exercise for most of my runs and made sure I was pushing myself to high-intensity exercise for a few minutes in each session.
Regardless of what training zone you target, there are a lot of factors that can affect heart rate and it’s best to check with your doctor before drastically changing your fitness routine, especially if you’re over 50 or have had a history of heart-related conditions.
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What Is The Target Cardio Heart Rate Zone
Your target heart rate is the range of numbers indicating how fast your heart should be beating during moderate to high-intensity physical activity think of it as the sweet spot so you get the benefits without burning out. According to the AHA , this is roughly 50-70% of your MHR during moderate-intensity exercise, and 70-85% of your MHR during vigorous exercise.
“Your target heart rate zone is dependent on various factors such as your age, the type of activity you are doing, and your overall fitness goals, but generally for most cardio a good place to aim for is the 60-80% category,” confirmed Mansour.
To determine your target heart rate, the first step is to calculate your MHR. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest using this simple method:
220 your age = MHR in beats per minute
“Once you know your maximum heart rate you can work out your heart rate ranges in beats per minute for each training zone,” explained Mansour.
Here’s how to calculate this, using an example of 30 year old exercising at 70-80% of their MHR:
MHR = 190
70% x 190 = 133
80% x 190 = 152
Target heart rate = 133-152 bpm
To monitor your heart rate during exercise, use a fitness tracker to ensure you are hitting your target heart rate zone.
What May Be More Important Than When
To stay motivated, choose activities you enjoy. Walking, swimming or biking solo might be a better fit for you. If youd like to spend more time with your family, find an activity you can all do together, like an after-dinner walk or game of soccer.
There are so many choices dont limit yourself to just one. Having a variety of fitness activities to choose from may keep you from getting bored or burned out.
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Target Heart Rate And Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
For moderate-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 64% and 76%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. You can estimate your maximum heart rate based on your age. To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 50 years = 170 beats per minute . The 64% and 76% levels would be:
- 64% level: 170 x 0.64 = 109 bpm, and
- 76% level: 170 x 0.76 = 129 bpm
This shows that moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 109 and 129 bpm during physical activity.
For vigorous-intensity physical activity, your target heart rate should be between 77% and 93%1,2 of your maximum heart rate. To figure out this range, follow the same formula used above, except change 64 and 76% to 77 and 93%. For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 35 years = 185 beats per minute . The 77% and 93% levels would be:
- 77% level: 185 x 0.77 = 142 bpm, and
- 93% level: 185 x 0.93 = 172 bpm
How To Choose The Best Heart Rate Monitor
There are many great heart rate monitors on the market. However, to find one thats right for you, its important to think about which metrics youre interested in and what type of monitor you need.
For example, some monitors only keep an eye on heart rate, while others offer additional fitness metrics, such as stride length, cadence, or blood pressure.
While some heart rate monitors are in the form of a chest band, armband, or watch, other options include hats and earbuds.
In general, chest straps tend to be the most accurate, as they use electrode sensors and are tightly pressed against your body.
In contrast, armbands and watches use optical sensors, which may be less precise but offer greater convenience and are more comfortable for all-day wear.
Youll also want to think about any additional features you might need. For example, some of the monitors on our list offer features designed for swimmers or cyclists, such as water resistance, GPS navigation, and internal memory for offline workouts.
If you want to pair your data with your smartphone, youll want to look for a monitor with Bluetooth or ANT+ capabilities.
When considering your budget, make sure to factor in any additional costs, such as subscription fees.
Heres a quick look at how our picks compare:
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How To Choose The Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch
With so many options available, it can be daunting to choose a reliable heart rate monitor watch.
The Fitbit Versa is our top pick, as it features 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which tracks your heart health over time and always displays your current heart rate, whether youre resting or exercising.
Furthermore, it shows your metrics on the main screen so that you dont have to navigate elsewhere.
Still, you may want to consider other factors like cost, customer reviews, and features.
Note that very few smartwatches only measure your heart rate. Most connect to your phone, and many offer features for athletes, such as GPS and activity tracking, or people with heart or lung problems, such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitoring.
Alternatively, if youre looking for the most accurate heart rate readings possible for example, to help manage your heart condition consider a chest monitor. This device straps around your chest and is much more precise than a smartwatch (
In particular, an elevated heart rate can also be a risk factor for future health issues, including heart disease and stroke .
Where Should My Heart Rate Be When I Do Cardio Training
Your fitness level will dictate where your heart rate should be during cardio training. Depending on what Stage of cardio training you are in, your heart rate should be anywhere between 65 90% of your maximum heart rate. You will first want to determine your maximum heart rate with the following equation: 220 Your Age. Initially, you will want to engage in lower levels of intensity , whereby the only heart rate zone you will use is zone 1- 65 75% of your maximum heart rate. Once you are able to complete this training for 30 minutes it is an indication that you can progress to a more advanced type of training in cardiorespiratory Stage training. Stage II cardio training involves the incorporation of more intense intervals after which you recover in lower intensity of 65 75% MHR. After progressing through Stage II, you can then begin training in Stage III where you incorporate a much more intense interval of cardio followed by a reduced workload and finally recovering in the lower intensity level . For example, if you are 40 years old, you would use the above calculations in the following manner: 220 40= 180 MHR. Zone 1 is a target heart rates of 180 x .65 180 x .75 , zone 2 target heart rates of 180 x .80 180 x .85 , and zone 3 target heart rates of 180 x .86 180 x .90 .
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What The Experts Do Monitor Heart Rate For Motivation
For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.
Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.
Whats The Difference Between A Fat
Your different heart rate zones are determined by the percentage of your maximum heart rate. If you’re exercising too close to your maximum heart rate, this could place an unhealthy strain on you.
Knowing the difference between fat-burning heart rate and cardio heart rate can help you understand how much you should push yourself in different exercises. Reaching your target heart rate zones more efficiently then helps improve your cardiovascular health.
The different exercise heart rate zones are based on training levels connected to your maximum heart rate. Your heart rate can be broken down into three zones:
Lower-intensity zone. This zone is when you’re working at 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, you’re burning fewer calories, but you can sustain this rate for longer.
Fat-burning zone. Also called the temperate zone, you’re using 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate when exercising at this intensity. Typically, about 65% of the calories you burn in this zone are from fat.
Aerobic zone. This is the highest level of intensity. You’re using about 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. At this heart rate, only 45% of your burning calories are fat. However, you’re burning more calories than you are in the other two zones. While you’re not burning the maximum amount of fat calories, you’re improving your overall health. You’re likely not able to sustain the aerobic heart rate for long periods of time.
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How Do Heart Rates Affect Workouts
Heart rate zones let you know how hard your heart is working and what energy source youre using carbohydrates or fat. The higher your heart rate gets, the more youre relying on glycogen from carbohydrates for fuel.
For endurance athletes, its best to exercise in the zones that mostly rely on fat for fuel, says Travers. Fat is a longer-lasting energy source and better for longer, intense workouts.
Best heart rate zone for fat loss
Youll burn fat at every exercise heart rate zone. If youre just starting to exercise, aim for the lower-intensity heart rate zone. As you build stamina, push yourself into the next zone until youre comfortably at the aerobic level. Thats your heart getting stronger.
Cardio exercise is designed primarily to improve heart and metabolic health, says Travers. It helps lower your:
- Blood pressure.
For fat loss, he recommends strength training to build muscle. Having more muscle mass boosts your metabolic rate , helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
If you havent been active before, then cardiovascular exercise will help with weight loss in the beginning. But at some point, youll become aerobically fit, Travers notes. Then you wont use as much energy to complete the same amount of exercise, so youll stop seeing significant weight loss.
How To Measure Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is as simple as checking your pulse. You can find your pulse over your wrist or neck. Try measuring your radial artery pulse, which is felt over the lateral part your wrist, just below the thumb side of your hand.
To measure your heart rate, gently press the tips of your index and middle fingers over this blood vessel in your wrist. Make sure not to use your thumb, because it has its own pulse and may cause you to miscount. Count the beats you feel for a full minute.
You can also count for 30 seconds and multiply the count by two, or count for 10 seconds and multiply by six.
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