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#1 Best Cardio Tip For People Over 40

Here is how to hit your goal heart rate.

Do you want to maximize your cardiovascular fitness when you are over 40? There is one thing you should be doing, claims an expert. Steve Lutsk (@dadbodsteve) is a fitness trainer and influencer who has transformed his body over the years. He regularly shares simple but effective tips on how to maximize your workouts. In a new video, he reveals a game-changing tactic for getting into a great cardio workout. Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies, also weighs in.

He Subtracts His Age From 180

Gray pencil, calculator and opened account book

Steve's tip comes in the form of an equation. "Best tip I ever got for cardio was to take 180 and subtract my age," he says. "I'm 41, so for me that's 139 and that's going to be my approximate heart rate to get to zone two cardio," he says.

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You Should Aim to Stay Within the Range

Runner using heart rate monitor training running, smartwatch checking performance or GPS. Man athlete looking at stopwatch. Healthy runner on running trail. Wearable technology for tracking activity.

"So if my heart rate stays between 129 and 139, that's gonna help me build up my aerobic base. That's an essential goal If you're an endurance athlete, a fighter, or just trying to build cardiovascular strength," he says.

When You Can Cover More Distance at the Same Rate, You Are Improving

Runner with heart rate monitor sports smart watch. Man running looking at his pulse outside in nature on road with smartwatch.

"You'll know you're improving when you're able to cover more distance in the same amount of time at the same heart rate," he says. He recommends starting off with a 20-minute session or two per week. "Try to build up to about 75 minutes per week," he says.

Heart Rate Measures Calories You Are Burning, Which Leads to Weight Loss

Calories Nutrition Food Exercise Concept

In general, the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn, explains Collingwood. "The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. However, you don't want to do super high-intensity exercise every day because it is quite difficult, can lead to injury, and lead to burnout," she says. "Varying your workouts with some lower intensity zone 2 cardio is an excellent way to do less intense exercise while some days doing the higher intensity workouts." Zone 2 cardio is also more the "fat-burning zone," where your body is able to utilize fat for energy while you are exercising.

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Here Is What It Means If Your Heart Rate Is Under

Young Caucasian men using Smart Watch measuring heart rate during walk. Runner fixing time at sports smart watch. Young athletic man using fitness tracker or smart watch before run training outdoors.

The best way to measure is with a heart rate monitor chest strap, or you can also use smartwatches like Garmin, Apple Watch, and Whoop, explains Collingwood. "If your heart rate is under, then you are not burning as much, and you are not getting all of the cardiovascular and pulmonary benefits of the exercise,' she explains.

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Here Is What It Means If Your Heart Rate Is Over

Tara Collingwood

"If it is over, you are increasing your fitness level by pushing your VO2 Max and burning more calories, but you can't sustain it for as long and can risk injury if you do too much too soon while untrained or not recovering in between tough workouts," she says.

💪🔥Body Booster: If you aren't sure what your heart rate should be while exercising, subtract your age from 180.

@dadbodsteve Do cardio like this. Take 180 and subtract your age to find your approximate target heart rate for zone 2. Work up to point where you're doing this for 75 minutes a week, divided over several sessions. You'll improve your aerobic capacity which is key for endurance sports, and you'll make your heart healthier which is essential for longevity. #fitness #cardio #exercise #dadbod ♬ Retro 80s – MaxKoMusic

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more