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Aerobic Exercise for Fast Weight Loss
Workout Within Target Heart Rate Zone for Maximum Cardio Benefits
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Aerobic Workout Programs to Improve Cardiovascular Fitness, Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Cardio Aerobic Exercise for Weight Loss

Optimum Weight Loss - Cardio Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic activity is an important addition to moderate-intensity exercise. Aerobic exercise is any extended activity that makes you breathe hard while using the large muscle groups at a regular, even pace. Aerobic activities help make your heart stronger and more efficient. They also use more calories than other activities. Some examples of aerobic activities include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Racket sports
  • Rowing
  • Ice or roller skating
  • Cross-country or downhill skiing
  • Using aerobic equipment (i.e., treadmill, stationary bike)

Optimum Weight Loss - Cardio Aerobic Exercise - Maximum Benefits

To get the most health and weight loss benefits from aerobic activity, you should exercise at a level strenuous enough to raise your heart rate to your target zone.

Your target heart rate zone is 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (the fastest your heart can beat).

To find your target zone, look for the category closest to your age in the chart below and read across the line.

For example, if you are 35 years old, your target heart rate zone is 93-138 beats per minute.

Table 1. Aerobic Exercise Heart Rate Zone For Optimum Weight Loss

Age Target Heart Rate Zone
Average Maximum Heart Rate 100%
20-30 years 98-146 beats per min. 195
31-40 years 93-138 beats per min. 185
41-50 years 88-131 beats per min. 175
51-60 years 83-123 beats per min. 165
61+ years 78-116 beats per min. 155

Aerobic Exercise For Optimum Weight Loss

To see if you are exercising within your target heart rate zone, count the number of pulse beats at your wrist or neck for 15 seconds, then multiply by four to get the beats per minute. Your heart should be beating within your target heart rate zone. If your heart is beating faster than your target heart rate, you are exercising too hard and should slow down. If your heart is beating slower than your target heart rate, you should exercise a little harder.

When you begin your exercise program, aim for the lower part of your target zone (50 percent). As you get into better shape, slowly build up to the higher part of your target zone (75 percent). If exercising within your target zone seems too hard, exercise at a pace that is comfortable for you.

You will find that, with time, you will feel more comfortable exercising and can slowly increase to your target zone.

Sources include: The National Women's Health Information Center, DHHS.

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