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Help! Heart Rate Question

Does your heart rate have to be at a certain level to burn calories? I have been riding a stationary bike for a 1 hour a day at about 13mph, but it seems when I use the monitor on the bike, it only shows my hear rate at about 60-70bpm. I wonder if I am just wasting my time and not burning anything?

Thank you!

Wed. Mar 26, 10:05am

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It sounds like the HRM on that bike is broken. Either that or you're as fit as Lance Armstrong! Choose another bike, or get your own gadget for reliability and flexibility.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 11:36 AM

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A heart-rate monitor is my best and favorite fitness tool. It was about $70 and worth every penny.

First of all, you are burning calories all the time, regardless of your heart rate. But yes, a higher heart-rate means burning more calories.

60 bpm is like if you are laying down sleeping. Your max heart-rate is *about* 220 minus your age (so, 190 if you are 30-years old).

If you are very out of shape, work out at 50-60% of your max (115 bpm). To burn the most fat calories, work out at 60-70% of max (130 bpm). To increase your aerobic fitness, work out at about 70-80% of max (150 bpm).

Some research (and my experience) suggests that heart-rate interval training burns the most calories and also speeds up your metabolism all day. This is done by alternating between high intensity exercise (sprinting, for example) and recovery (walking, for example). So, instead of doing a steady 13mph on the bike for an hour, ride really hard for a minute (18 mph) and then recover for two minutes (8 mph).

To some extent, if you aren't training for a triathalon or something, anything that gets you moving and your heart pumping is great to lose weight.

Here's an article to learn more.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 11:54 AM

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You should invest in a heart rate monitor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 12:42 PM

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OP here. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good heart rate monitor. I'm looking to spend $50-$100, but no more than that.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 4:16 PM

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I have the Polar F4. It's a fairly older model so it's probably cheaper than other one's. I like it because it's easy to use and doesn't have a whole whack of bells and whistles. Go to a running store, they'll have them there.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 4:33 PM

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Thanks, 4:33 poster. That is exactly the model I was looking at online! I can get one brand new on ebay for about $65 includes shipping. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 4:46 PM

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No problem

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 7:04 PM

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