For those of you who know me, you know that I am big on hearts. I have always felt a close connection to my heart; as a kid I love listening to it through my dad’s stethoscope. It has such a calming sound and its so neat to think that we each have this non stop engine running in our bodies.BOOT CANVILLE CA

Our hearts are a muscle, smooth cardiac muscle, and they become stronger and larger with both aerobic and resistance training. The hearts walls become thicker in order to accommodate the forceful propulsion needed to pump blood to the muscles when under the stress of exercise. Conversely, when we do not use our hearts, they shrink! 

Your heart rate at various stages of rest and work is a great way to measure your fitness. Your heart is an AMAZING organ! How much do you know about your heart?
Here are some cool facts. Read more at this link

The average human heart beats 100,000 times a day, and 3,600,000 times a year!

This 11 ounce organ pumps 2000 gallons of blood a day. Talk about EFFICIENT!

A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 beats per minute.b

There are a few numbers you should be familiar with in order to understand your heart better, and thereby you can manipulate your training to benefit it the most.

1) Know your resting heart rate (RHR) This should be taken before getting out of bed in the morning to get the most accurate read. Place your index and middle fingers on the coratid artery of your neck. Time for 10 seconds; start the timer on the first beat. Multiply by 6 to get your RHR. RHR will improve with exercise, and healthy RHR levels are as seen on the chart below.

Above Average66–6966–7067–7068–7168–7166–69
Below Average74–8175–8176–8277–8376–8174–79
Above Average70–7369–7270–7370–7369–7369–72
Below Average79–8477–8279–8478–8378–8377–84


2) Know your approximate MHR or Maximum Heart Rate. There are a few methods of figuring this, but this is the most accurate way to estimate it: 208 – (.7 X your age) This is the heart rate number you will use to find your training zones below.


Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up) — 50 – 60% of maximum heart rate: The easiest zone and probably the best zone for people just starting a fitness program. It can also be used as a warm up for more serious walkers. This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. 85% of calories burned in this zone are fats! BUT REMEMBER, the total fat calories burned are a RATIO taken from total caloric output, so you actually burn more fat training at higher levels because the total calories burned are greater.

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) — 60 – 70% of maximum heart rate: This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories. The percent of fat calories is still 85%.

Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) — 70 – 80% of maximum heart rate: The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. More calories are burned with 50% from fat.

Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) — 80 – 90% of maximum heart rate: Benefits of this zone include an improved VO2 maximum (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise) and thus an improved cardiorespiratory system, and a higher lactate tolerance ability which means your endurance will improve and you’ll be able to fight fatigue better. This is a high intensity zone burning more calories, 15 % from fat.

Red Line (Maximum Effort) — 90 – 100% of maximum heart rate: Although this zone burns the highest number of calories, it is very intense. Most people can only stay in this zone for short periods. You should only train in this zone if you are in very good shape and have been cleared by a physician to do so.


That moment when aerobic training becomes anaerobic…

Check out these amazing photos of healthy organs vs sick ones. If only we could see our insides, everyone would be healthier!