Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to calculate your target heart rate range ?

Dr. Bedi explains the secrets
‘The hearts of Punjabis should not just tick–they should beat strongly’
Ludhiana //16 November 2011// Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria
Dr. Bedi during a camp (File photo: Seven Seas News)
In the current era where heart disease has touched epidemic proportions in India according to WHO there is something to cheer about. Just simple lifestyle changes and regular exercise can dramatically reduce the chances of suffering from a heart attack.    
At a recently concluded cardiac check up camp conducted by Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana- some very positive findings have come up. At the camp a comprehensive cardiac checkup was performed on a cross section of the community of Samana and all surrounding areas. 400 patients were examined at the camp which was jointly organized with the Registered Medical Practitioners Association, Samana. All patients underwent a thorough examination by superspecialist doctors along with special blood tests. A unique feature was the addition of a dietary consultation and of supervised yoga therapy for all patients and attendants.  It was found that people who exercised regularly or performed yoga had their hearts in good shape, and had cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control. Dr Bedi was very encouraged with these findings for they suggest that a simple regimen of exercise, prudent diet, weight control and regular checkups could indeed keep the hearts of Punjabis in good shape. He stressed that the aim of preventive medicine was – ‘The hearts of Punjabis should not just tick – they should beat strongly’.

Interestingly similar reports have been found worldwide. Currently around one in five menopausal women die from heart disease. But according to new research by exercise scientists at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), this shocking statistic could be reversed if women took just 30 minutes to exercise, 5 days a week. Similarly a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that walking briskly for half an hour cut the risk of premature death in men and women by 44 percent.
There is some confusion about the type and intensity of exercise required. For cardiovascular fitness, you need to do a minimum of 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week, working hard enough that you break a sweat or are mildly out of breath. If you work out on a treadmill you should walk at a speed of at least four miles per hour on a level. If it’s on an incline, you can go a little more slowly.
Aim for a target heart rate during exercise.  Make monitoring your heart rate an integral part of your workout routine. It's a safer, more effective way to exercise, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Here's how to calculate your target heart rate range:
Estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
- Determine your lower-limit exercise heart rate: multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.6.
- Calculate your upper-limit exercise heart rate: multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.9.
For most people, working out at the lower end of the heart rate range for a longer time is better than exercising at the higher end for a shorter period.
Punjabis have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. You can’t do anything about your genes just yet—but you can lower that risk through lifestyle changes. Diet, yoga, exercise, regular physical checkups—all of these can help. Diabetes and high blood pressure can be detected and kept under control. It is time that we invested in our health and fitness now to ensure a real quality of life in later years – just as we plan a financial pension plan for our future. So, strap on your sneakers and start striding in the park.

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