Understanding the basics of exercise will help you get closer to your goal: weight loss, stronger, healthier body. Let's learn more about cardiovascular activity, resistance training and Training Heart Rate Zone ( THRZ) and Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Your quick guide to psychical exercise. Why? Because understanding and engaging your brain not only your muscles in physical activities will significantly increase your workout results!

Before hitting any training routine it is crucial to understand thoroughly who your body would benefit from the particular exercises; in this way not only will you engage the involved muscular groups but most importantly your mind, the major player and most of the times neglected (remember the fitness addicts in your gym sitting for hours on the stationary bike and reading a book). Engaging your brain not only your body, will increase your workout efficiency and slowly set a trend speeding up your progress.

So let's see how physical activity can work for you. Exercise includes more than just cardiovascular activities such as group exercise classes, walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, in-line skating, cross country skiing etc. An important role is played by regular resistance training as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine with particular attention to the core strength and stability. By increasing the lean mass of the body, not necessarily just the muscle size, improving core strength and stability will help to maintain correct postural alignment and decrease the onset of lower back pain and poor mobility.

Let's briefly see the differences between cardiovascular training and resistance training, and what these concepts mean.

Cardiovascular activity elevates the heart rate, creating stronger and more efficient heart and lungs, burns body fat when working within your Training Heart Rate Zone (THRZ) and encourages a better exchange of gases at a cellular level. It is necessary to know what your THR is so that you can train effectively. If your heart rate is too low you may not achieve the desired effect and if it is too high you will create more toxins in the body.

Training Heart Rate Zone

In order to find out your THRZ you first need to know you Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

MHR = 220 - age
lower end of THRZ = 50% of MHR
upper end of THRZ = 85% of MHR

For example a 27 year old person has the MHR 193 and the THRZ is between 97 and 164 beats per minute (BMP).

Resistance training will increase your lean body mass and your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

A stronger, leaner body will use more calories. The average woman loses 5lb of muscle every decade of adult life, and has reduced her muscle mass by one third by the age of 50. Because muscle loss typically doubles during the menopause years, a 60 year old woman may have less than half her original muscle tissue.

This means that the average 50 year old female has 15lb too little muscle and 45lb too much fat! The statistics are not much different for men - 7% less muscle and a 3 - 5% slower metabolism per decade results in 15 - 17lb more body fat each decade of adult life.