Today’s technology makes fitness tracking easier than ever. Apps and wearables can record everything from your daily dining to your current heart rate. Though you may have a wealth of information at your fingertips, this only helps when you know how to use it. Dive deeper into these top fitness tricks and learn how to make them work for you.
Tracking Your Heart Rate
Fitness trackers can do many things, including monitor your sleep, count your steps, and track your heart rate. Monitoring your heart rate is useful for your fitness regimen because it can help you determine whether an activity elevates your heart rate enough to efficiently burn calories. The ideal heart rate for fat burning is 55 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, you burn more fat than carbohydrates. You’ll also enjoy fitness benefits from high-intensity exercise, but you’ll begin burning carbs at higher heart rates alongside the fat, so you’ll need to fuel your body appropriately.
If you notice an overall decrease in your resting heart rate, this is a good indicator that your regimen is working, as your heart is more efficiently circulating blood and therefore does not have to work as hard. Target heart rates and ranges differ by individual, so you may want to speak to your doctor to determine your ideal numbers.
Counting calories is one of the simplest formulas for weight loss. At the most basic level, if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll ultimately lose weight. Therefore, tracking your calorie intake and keeping it below the number of calories that you’re burning will ultimately help you trim those extra pounds.
While calorie counting is effective overall, it’s not the most efficient way to maintain your overall health because it doesn’t consider what type of calories you’re consuming. You could theoretically eat only snack cakes and lose weight if you eat a small enough amount. However, this won’t fuel your body for long-term wellness and certainly won’t help you develop lean muscles as you shed weight. A better option is to combine calorie counting with a more detailed tracking method.
Using the Macro-Counting Formula
Macro counting takes calorie counting to the next level. Rather than tracking your dietary intake, you’re measuring the macronutrients that comprise those calories. Macro counting addresses your intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This process begins with determining your ideal calorie intake for the day. Next, you divide these calories by macro.
For weight loss, Lifesum recommends macronutrients that consist of 45 percent protein, 35 percent fat, and 25 percent carbs. If you are looking to maintain weight, your macro counting will allot 40 percent of your calories to carbs, 30 percent to protein, and 30 percent to fat. Macro counting helps ensure that you’re consuming the right nutrients as well as the right amount.
Always consider your individual goals and current fitness level so you can target the best strategies for your needs, and make sure to speak with your doctor before you begin a new fitness routine.