May 19, 2021

What You Need to Know About the Fat-Burning Heart Rate

The fat-burning heart rate is the rate at which your heart should beat per minute to achieve maximum fat-burning results. Fitness professionals and people looking to lose weight often talk about the fat-burning heart rate.

While there may be evidence to suggest that this primarily burns fat, there are more factors you should consider when working out. Below we’ll provide information about a fat-burning heart rate and whether it’s effective for weight loss.

What’s Fat-Burning Heart Rate?

Your heart rate is often a good indicator of the intensity of the activity you’re doing. When you’re sitting or lying down, your heart rate is usually 60-100 beats per minute. This is your resting heart rate.

When you exercise, your heart rate starts to increase. Your maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate you can safely achieve, often during high-intensity exercises. Most people working at this intensity will have shorter workouts because it’s hard to maintain. 

The fat-burning heart-rate supposedly falls between the resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate. When a person is in their fat-burning heart rate, their body is burning more stored fat than sugar and other carbohydrates. Your fat-burning heart rate is 70% of your maximum heart rate. 

How to Calculate Fat-Burning Heart Rate Zones

As you age, your fat-burning heart rate decreases. The chart below lists the fat-burning heart rates for various ages. Certain medications can affect your heart rate, so talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Achieving the Ideal Heart Rate to Burn Fat

The best workouts to maintain the fat-burning heart rate may vary from person to person. Try to monitor your heart rate during different activities to see where you are then go from there. 

For fat burning, it’s best to stick with moderate activity. To gauge this, try the talk test, which is where you try to talk during your exercise. If you can’t talk, you’re likely working at vigorous levels. If you’re slightly out of breath but can still maintain a conversation, you’re probably working at moderate levels and may be in your fat-burning zone. 

Here are some exercises that can help you reach your fat-burning zone:

  • Slow jogging
  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Cycling (under 10 miles per hour)
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Ballroom dancing

Take a Health Risk Assessment

Before you start a new fitness routine for weight loss, make sure to talk with your doctor to make sure you’re on the right track and to see if you’re taking any medications that could interfere with exercise. 

To understand more about your health, take a health risk assessment at Baptist Health.

Useful Resources and Next Steps:

The 2 Most Important Things Every Black Patient Should Know About Heart Risk and Heart Care
What’s the Difference Between a Stroke and a Heart Attack?
Are High Fat Foods Good for Your Heart?
Find a Heart Care Provider
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