Your Heart Rate & Training

Training Comments

Our hearts pump pump the blood vital to our existence. This movement of blood supplies the nutrients and oxygen that our bodies require. Once the payload of nutrients and oxygen are delivered the blood removes toxins from our bodies to keep us health. All of this driven by the beating of our hearts. The workload on our heart varies depending on our activity level. When we exercise our heart rate increases as does our breathing to meet the heightened demand for oxygen. Measuring our Heart rate while resting and during exercise provides a benchmark of how physically fit we are, how hard we are working, and to measure our improvement over time.

Our heart rate when resting (doing nothing) is a good guide of our general fitness. The normal range for our heart rate at rest is between 60 and 80 beats per minute (60-80 bpm), lower is usually better. To improve our heart rate and fitness level we need to exercise a minimum of 3 to 5 times per week for 30 minutes to 1 hour. During this exercise period our heart rate should be elevated. An elevated heart rate of 60% to 70% of our maximum heart rate must be maintained during this exercise period. Our maximum heart rate is determined using the formula 220 beats per minute minus our age. While this is the maximum your heart should EVER pump it is not wise to approach this number without consulting a doctor. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a heart rate of 150 beats per minute or lower depending on your maximum heart rate. As your fitness level improves the amount of exercise you can do at this level will increase. It is better to make steady improvement, which you will, then to stress your most important muscle, your heart. As a secondary way to determine your general fitness level check your heart rate every minute after your workout. How quickly your heart rate returns to your ‘resting’ rate is a good indicator of your fitness level.

This chart is provided as a guide to the accepted normal heart rate ranges based on age.

heartrate

This article is written by: Mitchell Saba, WKC senior member and instructor.

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Types of Training

Training Comments

This article covers three types of training and exercise:

  1. Aerobic Exercise
  2. Anaerobic
  3. Cross Training

ccski1. Aerobic
Aerobic exercises are good for building endurance. As this would suggest aerobic exercises are long in duration with the focus on a stead pace. This steady pace burns your muscle energy at a slower rate because most of the energy comes from the air we breath. Aerobic exercise is excellent for improving your physical fitness and heart rate. Aerobic exercise will improve your sparring performance due to an overall increased stamina. Types of aerobic exercise include jumping rope, distance running, swimming laps and cross-country skiing.

2. Anaerobic
Though the namweightse is similar to aerobic, anaerobic exercises are shorter in duration, focusing on speed and power rather then endurance. The intensity of exertion in anaerobic exercise burns muscle energy quickly. As the muscle energy is burnt and depleted we often feel a burning sensation. This sensation is from small muscle tears that occur when your muscle energy is depleted. These tears form the future stores for additional energy once healed. It is through this process that we increase our strength. Muscle tears decrease our muscle elasticity, this is why stretching is so vital. Without proper stretching we gain power at the loss of speed and mobility. Only with stretching can we improve our power and speed. Types of anaerobic exercise include, yes, karate, sprinting, weight-lifting, and push-ups.

3. Cross Training
Cross training as the term suggests a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. There is no “correct” combination of the two forms of exercise, it really depends on your personal needs and goals. If you have been sedentary for a long period of time it is probably better to begin with more aerobic exercise to get your heart and lungs into shape and build your stamina. The main focus here is variety. Karate is a great cross training form of exercise as it is both aerobic and anaerobic. Karate works all of your major muscle groups (and some minor ones too!) as well as strengthening your heart and lungs (see your heart rate). It is never a bad idea to augment your karate training with other forms of exercise if you have the time to do so.

Conclusion
To quickly recap and summarize; Aerobic exercise builds long term endurance; Anaerobic exercise builds short term endurance. It is important to remember that there is no definitive border between anaerobic and aerobic activity, and in fact, all activities are fuelled by both pathways. It all depends on your focus and use of various exercises. The benefits of using a balanced aerobic and anaerobic exercise program include: Improved Endurance, Strength, Range of Motion, Balance, Posture and Coordination, all of which will help with your karate performance.

This article is written by: Mitchell Saba, WKC senior member and instructor.

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