Time to read: 4 min

So train your heart

20 June 2023|Training

Your heart is a muscle with the ultra-important task of pumping blood to all your organs a hundred thousand times a day. To keep that muscle in top condition, it's good to train it. The fitter your heart, the better you feel. However, not every workout is suitable. Read below how to do it right.

Training with Oxygen

Your cardiovascular endurance indicates how fit your heart is. The better your heart can pump oxygen and blood to the muscles, the healthier it usually is. With cardiovascular fitness, or cardio, you work on this.

Train at the right intensity (in the right heart rate zone)

Various studies have shown that the best results are obtained when the training is not too heavy but also not too light. It's best to train in the zone where your heart rate is about 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Training in this zone improves the overall condition of your heart, or in other words, your endurance. If you train above that, you are mainly focused on peak performance.

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How to measure your heart rate and heart rate zone

You can measure your heart rate with a smartwatch or a heart rate monitor. One that goes around your chest is the most accurate, but a wrist heart rate monitor works just fine. To calculate what is 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, you can do the following: subtract your age from the number 220. Calculate 70% (lower limit) and 80% (upper limit) of that, and ta-da: this is your ideal training zone.

How often should you train your heart?

Aim for three to five cardio workouts per week, also known as aerobic workouts (aerobic means oxygen). Between 20-60 minutes is sufficient. Love strength training? Mix it up! Start your workout with 30 minutes of cardio and finish it off with 30 minutes of strength training.

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Best sports for your heart

Actually, all sports are suitable. The most important thing is that you engage in an activity that suits you. To get the most out of the training, it's important to do something you enjoy. A comfortable feeling increases the likelihood that you'll stick with it for a longer time and helps you relax. Whether you're cycling, running, walking, rowing, doing aerobics, or strength training: all good.

Yup, strength training is also on this list. You can do this at a heart rate between 70 and 80%. Don't train as heavy as possible, but lower the weights, go for more reps, and do different workouts in a row. Create a circuit of, for example, three workouts in a row. Stay between 70-80% and then take a 1-minute break. You can repeat this over and over. Tip: vary the workouts.

Training for more vitality?

It is important that physical exercise produces more energy than it costs. This is a consideration that is often overlooked. It is often thought that the harder you train, the better, but that's not the case. To improve your fitness, it's best to train between 70 and 80%. The better this basic fitness, the more resilient you are. And that ultimately allows you to train harder and handle more in daily life!

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