The first month of 2017 is nearly complete and some may be welcoming new habits after weeks of hard work setting new routines. On this week’s podcast, Nick and I kick-off by sharing the things we’ve added to our own fitness/health routines so far.
Nick started the year by doing a series of monthly challenges. For January, he’s given up an overindulgence – alcohol. In addition, he’s incorporating daily morning workouts to try and lose the pesky holiday pounds that almost all of us pack on.
I, on the other hand, finally started exploring a quest into a new topic of my health, which is also the topic of our podcast today – Heart Rate Monitoring and Training.
Nick shares the formula for how to calculate your Zone 2 (fat burning zone):
180 – your age = your zone 2 beats per minute (BPM) OR being able to hold a conversation while exercising (e.g. if you’re 30 years old, you subtract that from 180 and your Zone 2 heart rate is 150 bpm, give or take a few beats)
In order to better understand my own heart rate efficiencies (or otherwise) I invested in the best monitor for the money I was looking to spend and bought the Fitbit Charge 2.
My motivations for wanting to better understand this element of fitness and how it contributes to my health comes after long battles with stress and poor sleep, two things many people are likely grappling with as well. The Peloton classes introduced me to how heart rate training can improve your fitness and I had read countless articles about how it benefits your overall health.
So what affects your resting heart rate? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot:
- Activity level
- Fitness level
- Air temperature
- Body position
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
You can impact your own heart rate in a number of ways:
- Physical exercise (15-20 min/day will lower RHR)
- Reduce body fat/increase muscle mass
In terms of exercise, Zone 2 training is how many athletes build endurance. It’s all about low intensity for long periods of time – staying in that fat burning zone.
I’ve been experimenting with some of the Zone 2 training on the Peloton so far and have already seen some impact on my RHR.
Much of what I’ve learned in the last few weeks is due to my Fitbit Charge 2. Costing a fairly reasonable $130 (to start) the Fitbit Charge 2 was highly rated by CNET, even more so since Fitbit launched a software upgrade late last year.
In the last part of the podcast I get into the details of my own review of the fitness monitor, including the ups and downs (because nothing is perfect, right?).
- Not bulky
- Changeable bands
- Useful mobile app/interface
- Battery life is good (4-5 days before needing a charge)
- Absolutely can’t get wet
- Charger is awkward
Some of the features I like most include a cardio fitness rating. It gives a rating based on its estimated VO2 Max and indicates your overall performance in endurance-based activities. Currently, mine is sitting around 38-42, which is “good – very good” for a female of my age (positive sign!).
The app is a whole other side of this product, which we’ll get into in a future episode, but as of now, I would recommend the Fitbit Charge 2. It holds me to new levels of accountability, further helping me stick to a healthy lifestyle.
Now all I need to work on is adding some friends to my Fitbit circle!
We’d love hear what goals you set or accomplished so far this year. Please feel free to share them with us in the comment section, on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback and support has helped us grow into a 5 star rated podcast and we are extremely grateful. Keep rating, reviewing and sharing the podcast and let’s stay healthy year.
Links for this week’s episode