top
Rich Dafter's Solutions Based Coaching
What Solutions Do You Need?

Swimming Heart Rate

By Joanne Maybeck

Heart Rate Monitors Make a Splash! Part Two

This is the second of three articles about using a Polar heart rate monitor as a fitness tool in aquatic exercise classes and personal training.    Article One  ·    Article Three

In Part One, we learned what a heart rate monitor is, how to use it, and that monitors can be used in the pool as a superior way to accurately and effortlessly measure heart rate in beats per minute. This is a great tool for aquatic fitness instructors and personal trainers who need to know participants’ and clients’ heart rates.   So

Now that I have my monitor, what should my heart rate be, when I swim?

That depends on how you calculate it!

Traditionally, the equation “220-age” has been used to estimate a person’s maximum heart rate.  And, an intensity range of 60 to 90% of a persons estimated maximum heart rate is considered to elicit a safe cardio respiratory or aerobic effect during training.

Remember the poor pool participants in Part One, who were frantically searching the wall chart for what their heart rate should be, when the instructor asked them to take a pulse rate?  Most heart rate wall charts follow the 220-age equation, and display the 60 to 90% range for various age groups (20, 25, 30, 35, and so on).

A more accurate way to calculate exercise intensity via heart rate is to use Karvonens formula. To do this, you must know your resting heart rate.  Find it by taking your heart rate for 60 seconds for three mornings before rising from bed, and average the three.  Then, calculate as follows:

 220 – Age – Resting Heart Rate = Heart Rate Reserve

 Heart Rate Reserve x 50% + Resting Heart Rate = Minimum Training Threshold

 Heart Rate Reserve x 85% + Resting Heart Rate = Maximum Training Threshold

 But, is everyone’s maximum heart rate “220 – their age”?

No way!  And, its true that both of the methods above are based upon that assumption. So, where did 220 come from?  It supposedly relates somehow to newborn babies maximum heart rate. But, no one has put a baby on a treadmill yet, to work them to the max. And, research has established that there may be a margin of error as large as 30 beats per minute in 220 based formulas.

 So, what is the best way to estimate maximum heart rate?

World-class athlete and heart rate monitor “guru” Sally Edwards calls this the Best-Fit Formula. After years of searching for a better formula, she believes it to be the most accurate to date.  Here it is:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.

 But, exercising in the water throws another curve ball…

 Are heart rates during aquatic exercise the same as on land?

No!  Aqua heart rates are 13% or 17 beats per minute lower in water than heart rates during comparable land exercise. 

Why is my heart rate lower in water than on land? There are five theories.  And they make good sense!

Temperature - Water cools the body with less effort than air. This reduced effort means less work for the heart, resulting in a lower heart rate.

 Gravity  -  Water reduces the effect of gravity on the body. Blood flows from below the heart back up to it with less effort, resulting in a lowered heart rate.

 Compression - Water is thought to act like a compressor on all body systems, including the vascular system, causing a smaller venous load to the heart than equivalent land exercise.

 Partial Pressure - A gas enters a liquid more readily under pressure. In water exercise, the gas is oxygen and the liquid is the blood. So, more efficient gas transfer due to water pressure may reduce the workload of the heart.

 Dive Reflex - a primitive reflex associated with a nerve found in the nasal area.  When the face is submerged in water, this reflex lowers heart rate and blood pressure. This reflex is stronger in some individuals than in others. Some research suggests that the face doesnt even need to be in the water for the dive reflex to occur. Some people experience its effect when standing in chest deep water.

 So, how do I calculate my aquatic target heart rate?

Take a 13% or 17 beats per minute deduction from your minimum and maximum training thresholds on land.

 So, strap on your heart rate monitor, jump in the pool, and finally know that you are exercising at a more accurate aquatic target heart rate! 


Joanne Maybeck is a fitness instructor and personal trainer in New York City.  She is certified by ACSM, ACE, AEA, and AAAI/ISMA.  Joanne presents the CEC workshop Aquatic Heart Zone Training and will soon offer on-line heart monitor education. She believes in training with heart!  For more about Joanne, please visit her Internet web site or email her at FitNYC@aol.com

The goal of Team Beachbody is to provide you with solutions to reach your health and fitness goals.
Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.


back to top
Team Howtobefit on Facebook Team Howtobefit on Twitter Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter on Instagram

Welcome

Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life with free coaching.... more.


Sign up for Your Free Team Beachbody Membership
Free Team Beachbody Memberhip
Answers, advice, guidance and support 7 days a week, 363 days a year!
Save Between $50.00 and $115.00 with a Fitness and Nutrition Bundle
Challenge Pack All-In-One Solutions
Challenge Pack
All-In-One Solutions
Save on Superfood Dense Shakeology on Home Direct
Save on Shakeology on Home Direct
Find out for yourself why more than half a million people drink Shakeology every day
Help Yourself and Others Live Healthier, More Fulfilling Lives
Become a Team Beachbody Coach and Help Change People's Lives
Plus get 25% off on all of your Team Beachbody orders with your Coach membership
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Stream every Beachbody workout on any device, anytime
Save on
Nutrition Programs
2B Mindset Nutrition Program
Save on2B Mindset, 3 Day Refresh and the Ultimate Reset
Save on
Workout Programs
Save $20.00 on Transform :20 Challenge Packs and Completion Packs
Still love DVD's? Get them while you still can!
Bundle and Save Over $100.00 on Ultimate Portion Fix

Best Deal

Save $50-$115.00

Work Out at Home

Effective Weight Loss

Running Gear

Polar Store

Free Coaching

Resources

Contact

Shop

Home
Top      

© 2019 Howtobefit.com  -  About   -  Contact  -  Join My Team  -  Coach Earnings Statement  -  Site Map  -  Shop -  Home