WARNING: Before beginning this or any exercise program, consult your physi- cian. This is especially important for individu- als over the age of 35 or individuals with pre- existing health problems.
The pulse sensor is not a medical device. Various factors, including your movement, may affect the accuracy of heart rate readings. The sensor is intended only as an exercise aid in determining heart rate trends in general.
The following guidelines will help you to plan your ex- ercise program. For more detailed exercise informa- tion, obtain a reputable book or consult your physician.
Whether your goal is to burn fat or to strengthen your cardiovascular system, the key to achieving the desired results is to exercise with the proper intensity. The proper intensity level can be found by using your heart rate as a guide. The chart below shows recom- mended heart rates for fat burning and aerobic exercise.
To find the proper heart rate for you, first find your age near the bottom of the chart (ages are rounded off to the nearest ten years). Next, find the three numbers above your age. The three numbers define your “train- ing zone.” The lower two numbers are recommended heart rates for fat burning; the higher number is the recommended heart rate for aerobic exercise.
To measure your heart rate during exercise, use the pulse sensor. If your heart rate is too high or too low, adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill.
To burn fat effectively, you must exercise at a relatively low intensity level for a sustained period of time. During the first few minutes of exercise, your body uses easily accessible carbohydrate calories for en-
ergy. Only after the first few minutes does your body begin to use stored fat calories for energy. If your goal is to burn fat, adjust the speed and incline of the tread- mill until your heart rate is near the lowest number in your training zone.
For maximum fat burning, adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill until your heart rate is near the middle number in your training zone.
If your goal is to strengthen your cardiovascular sys- tem, your exercise must be “aerobic.” Aerobic exercise is activity that requires large amounts of oxygen for prolonged periods of time. This increases the demand on the heart to pump blood to the muscles, and on the lungs to oxygenate the blood. For aerobic exercise, adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill until your heart rate is near the highest number in your training zone.
Each workout should include the following three parts:
A Warm-up—Start each workout with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching and light exercise. A proper warm-up in- creases your body temperature, heart rate and circula- tion in preparation for exercise.
Training Zone Exercise—After warming up, increase the intensity of your exercise until your pulse is in your training zone for 20 to 60 minutes. (During the first few weeks of your exercise program, do not keep your pulse in your training zone for longer than 20 minutes.) Breathe regularly and deeply as you exercise—never hold your breath.
A Cool-down—Finish each workout with 5 to 10 min- utes of stretching to cool down. This will increase the flexibility of your muscles and will help prevent post- exercise problems.
To maintain or improve your condition, complete three workouts each week, with at least one day of rest be- tween workouts. After a few months, you may com- plete up to five workouts each week if desired. The key to success is to make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your everyday life.