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TOPIC: Heart Rate on Elliptical or Treadmill

 
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February 16, 2012 7:11 AM
I like the elliptical better because it seems to burn more calories in the same amount of time as the treadmill. Because of back problems I only set it to "manual". If I have any elevation at all while on the machine, my back starts to really hurt. My question is concerning heart rate. On the elliptical (or treadmill) that I use, there is a little chart with three columns (age, 60% fat burning, 80% cardio). From what I understand, you are supposed to find your age and then look at the column to the right of it and there is a heart rate for fat burning and also one for cardio. I try to stay within that range, but a lot of the time my heart rate is much higher than what it says for my age. So I slow down to bring my heart rate down (usually from a 3.5 down to a 2.5mph). When I look around at other people on the treadmills or ellipticals, their heart rate is a little higher than mine and they are going anywhere from 4.2-6.5mph. Am I doing this correctly?
February 16, 2012 7:13 AM
How are you measuring your heart rate? Are you using the machine? If you're really concerned about the heart rate, get a monitor because the machines aren't always the most accurate.

I'd suggest not to worry about the "fat zone" or "cardio zone". Just work out and enjoy it.
Edited by kgarman On February 16, 2012 7:18 AM
February 16, 2012 7:14 AM
Probably. Don't compare yourself to others, you are a unique case! Those heart rate charts are useful, aren't they? Anything above the fat burning will still burn fat, by the way. I like to keep my heart rate in the cardio to max zone. When I run, I'm frequently higher than that. (So out of shape!)
Do what you can, at the speed you can. You're getting your body moving and that's what really matters!
  1710900
February 16, 2012 8:34 AM
I am measuring my heart rate by the machine (grabbing hold of the handles). I was afraid that if I was over the heart rate that was in the chart then I might give myself a heart attack or something. I am new to any kind of exercise again. It has been a while.
February 16, 2012 8:45 AM
Hey, I think someone mentioned it, but the heart rate on those machines can sometimes under/over estimate where you are. Listen to your body....I use an RPE chart (just google 'perceived exertion chart')....to gauge how your working out (I know if I can't hum a song or hold a conversation I'm really pushing it). You will burn calories in either the fat burn/cardio levels, but for overall heart health, you might want to spend some time in the 'cardio' level. Start slow and work your way up.
February 16, 2012 8:48 AM
QUOTE:

Probably. Don't compare yourself to others, you are a unique case! Those heart rate charts are useful, aren't they? Anything above the fat burning will still burn fat, by the way. I like to keep my heart rate in the cardio to max zone. When I run, I'm frequently higher than that. (So out of shape!)
Do what you can, at the speed you can. You're getting your body moving and that's what really matters!


^^ This....
February 16, 2012 8:50 AM
QUOTE:

I like to keep my heart rate in the cardio to max zone. When I run, I'm frequently higher than that. (So out of shape!)


I just started running again and the heart rate monitor would go all the way up to 200. Talk about out of shape. embarassed Its not going as high now after a few weeks of running.

edit: That 200 did alarm me... I just looked it up and learned that at my age (30), 190 is my MHR (maximum heart rate). I will keep that in mind!
Edited by KemaVA On February 16, 2012 8:56 AM
  3488810
February 16, 2012 8:51 AM
I love the elliptical. A lot of times i will do the "fat burn" exercise on it and always end up hitting the cardio heart rate intensity. I mean there are a few factors for this: how fast your heart normally is (im 80 to 90) so it doesn't take much for mine to get up, how hard you are working, your weight, how healthy you are , and how in shape you are.
February 16, 2012 8:51 AM
If you are unsure, one simple trick to follow. Exercise to the point where you are somewhat winded but can still carry on a conversation. This rule is years old but if you don't have an HRM it works. If you get too out of breath to carry on said conversation, you're heartrate is getting up there. If you are not winded at all, it's too low.
  2989853
February 16, 2012 8:58 AM
I just dropped below 300 lbs. I have been on Treadmills built for the heavier person but I have never been on an elliptical. Would an elliptical hold one of my weight. Are they quieter than a Treadmill?
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Edited by wholedanfamily On February 16, 2012 9:02 AM
February 16, 2012 9:03 AM
I was using the eliptical when I was at 275. Surely 25 more lbs wouldn't make that much of a difference. Yes, I think it is quieter. Everything is quiet if you crank up the headphones. ;)
February 16, 2012 9:04 AM
QUOTE:

I like the elliptical better because it seems to burn more calories in the same amount of time as the treadmill. Because of back problems I only set it to "manual". If I have any elevation at all while on the machine, my back starts to really hurt. My question is concerning heart rate. On the elliptical (or treadmill) that I use, there is a little chart with three columns (age, 60% fat burning, 80% cardio). From what I understand, you are supposed to find your age and then look at the column to the right of it and there is a heart rate for fat burning and also one for cardio. I try to stay within that range, but a lot of the time my heart rate is much higher than what it says for my age. So I slow down to bring my heart rate down (usually from a 3.5 down to a 2.5mph). When I look around at other people on the treadmills or ellipticals, their heart rate is a little higher than mine and they are going anywhere from 4.2-6.5mph. Am I doing this correctly?


Those charts are such rough estimates, don't sweat it. Well, do sweat it actually, but, you know.

Just keep in mind the true comments above about working out higher level burns just as many calories of fat, plus more calories overall.
And changing the incline to raise the HR somewhat and then lowering again is very beneficial.

And for women especially, the formula that chart is based on has a huge bell curve, you have more chance of being way off than correct.

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