Monitor Fitness and Health Like a Pro

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Walking beaches is great aerobic exercise.

Walking beaches is great low-impact aerobic exercise activity.

How to monitor and sustain healthy body weight, appearance, physical performance and fitness levels like a pro, and without spending any money.

Believe it or not, if you use a weight scale and monitor two bodily vitals; blood pressure and heart rate, these measurements provide a good indicator of oxygen utilization, fat burning capacity, metabolic efficiencies and overall health condition.  There is a direct correlation between these particular vitals, fitness levels, health and physical results.

For example when you fall within a healthy heart rate and blood pressure range it is much easier to achieve fitness and health goals.  When oxygen enriched blood circulates unobstructed throughout the body, it is easier to achieve a desired body weight, improve muscle tone, increase strength and cardio-muscular endurance and flexibility [Range of Motion]; and sustain health and wellbeing.

The basics of vitals monitoring as related to healthy blood circulation and heart-lung circulatory capacity is pretty easy to understand.  If your heart rate and blood pressure fall within a normal range for your age, it is easier to begin, improve and advance a fitness goal, or improve health condition.  Likewise, if these vitals are outside normal range, it makes exercise more difficult to begin and sustain the effort and health risk increases.

Start a New Activity and Meet New People.

Start a New Activity and Meet New People.

If you’re interested in determining how your blood pressure and heart rate stack up against a comparable populace, or want to date and record vitals at no cost and compare future results, visit a local pharmacy.

Almost every retail store pharmacy has a free blood pressure cuff and heart rate monitoring station.

Free Self Check Vitals Services,

I can’t resist using the arm cuff station at the local pharmacy store to see if my vitals are within a normal range, or if I need to work on diet, exercise, or visit my doctor.  Pay attention to the blood pressure and heart rate charts at the station, then document your results.  If your blood pressure and heart rate are significantly below or above vitals standards seek medical consultation.  Regardless of the results, write them down and use them as a historical baseline comparison and/or share them with a medical professional.

If you’re significantly outside a normal vitals range for your age in comparison to previous results the station may be out of calibration.  I’ve experienced faulty cuff monitoring stations a couple of times.   To test this theory I’ve visited another pharmacy store the same day and vitals were normal for my age.  If you get “at risk” readings at 2 separate store locations, seek medical advisement.

Blood pressure and heart rate indicators tell us a lot about metabolism and circulatory-heart health.  When blood pressure and heart rate are too low or high the body is experiencing circulatory and cardio functional stress.  These are warning signs that should not be ignored.  Typically but not always, when body fat weight is high so are vitals.

The weight scale is probably one of the most convenient measuring devices I use. Body weight is either up or down.  If you’re up, concentrate on balanced diet and aerobic exercise activity to burn more body fat.

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Take a break, enjoy the day and fuel up to continue healthy activities.

It is aerobic walking, jogging and moderate running, biking and swimming, etc., exercise that injects oxygen enriched blood into the circulatory and cardio systems during low-impact aerobic exercise activity that burns more body fat.

During low-impact aerobic exercise fat burning occurs and is measureable when activity is within the THR (Target Heart Rate) zone, or the fat burning zone.

Which simply means, if you’re in the aerobic heart rate fat burning zone during exercise, you’ll burn more body fat.

Use the simple THR formula below to monitor HR during activity and stay within the Fat Burning zone.  Then apply formula during exercise to lose more body fat weight.

To use Simple formula below, first determine aerobic effort you want to apply and stay within that fat burning zone during exercise.  Using the Simple formula plug in 50 – 70% to burn more fat:

For example, Intensity of Aerobic Effort Percentages:  50 – 60% – Efficient fat burning zone, 60 – 70% – Optimize fat burning furnace.  71 – 100% – Increasing physical effort beyond 70% begins to step up a greater anaerobic lactic acid and the metabolism burns less fat.

 Simple formula: ((220 – age) x Intensity of Effort%/6) = Beats per Minute (BPM)

Then determine your maximum heart rate take 220 – age.  If your 40 years old for example  (220 – 40 = 180).

Then multiply 180 by 50% THR and physical effort needed to burn fat at the lower aerobic intensity range (180 x .50 = 90 BPM).

Or multiply 180 by 60-70% THR and physical effort needed to burn fat at the higher aerobic intensity range (180 x .70 = 126 BPM).

Take 90 or 126 and divide by 6.  Results:  15 and  21 BPM represent a 10 second pulse count you can take during exercise.  Simply monitor pulse at carotid (side of neck) or brachial (wrist) for a 10 second pulse count inbetween exercise.  If you fall within this heart rate range your burning body fat fuel.

“These calculations provide only estimates of your target heart rate,  cardiovascular work zone and fat burning efficiency during exercise.  To precisely determine your individual heart rate maximum, you would need to undergo physical testing, like in an exercise science lab (Richey 2013).” [ref:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/260503-cardio-heart-rate-formula/]

To learn more about THR click on the following link “How Cardio-Muscular Endurance Melts off Pounds.”

I’ve used both vitals tracking and body weight weekly and TRH zone monitoring to adjust exercise activity, improve health and determine level of fitness condition for my age.

Make adjustments to daily diet and exercise activity if vitals begin to fall outside an unfit range.  Also blood lab results are great indicators of internal health condition.   if your dietary glucose (sugars), Cholesterol and Triglycerides (blood fats) are too high…  journal these results for future comparisons after adjusted diet and exercise program changes.

Continue to read all MirrorAthlete Fitness Secret articles.  Learn more on how to further improve fitness levels, reduce health risk, look and feel better and live life to the fullest.  And be sure to visit your doctor for frequent medical checkups.  And when you do, present your self monitoring data, nutrition and exercise habits and past vs. present blood test results for further medical advisement.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.


 

About Marc Woodard

As a previous corporate employee and retired Army officer, I've spent many years taking care of my career goals and financial security.  It is now my time to give something back to my community. Without a healthy mind, body and spirit it is really difficult to move forward to achieve great things in life. To share information is something everyone of us are capable of doing. And to share fitness and health related information with your children is the best thing you could do for them and your community. Saving the health of our nation one person at a time is our goal. Learn more about Marc Woodard @ LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=107574528&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic Good health to you and your family.
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