To Lose Weight and Get in Shape Faster
You Could Use a Pacemaker
By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-in-Chief
By pacemaker I don’t mean an electronic implant, but something that helps you get in shape faster by controlling your pulse during exercise. You can pay up to $700 for such a device—or make your own.
Studies show that your body selectively burns fat if you exercise in your "Target Zone," where exercise is strenuous enough to condition your heart and lungs, but not to give you bulging muscles.
Where is your Target Zone? It's the sweet spot between 60-percent and 85-percent of your maximum heart rate. If you keep your pulse there during workouts, you'll rapidly burn fat.
The problem is, you can't find your Target Zone without knowing your maximum heart rate. Worse, your maximum heart rate depends partly on the type of exercise you're doing. And even worse, your Zone changes as your fitness level rises.
The good news is that you can solve all three of those problems instantly with DietPower's new online Target Zone Finder. I urge you to try it (and bookmark it) right now. You won't find a better Target Zone calculator on the Web. Ours considers not only your age (where most other calculators stop), but your resting heart rate, your choice of exercise, your training level, and even your sex. (Men's heart rates peak higher than women's.)
All right, thanks to this nifty new tool, let's say you've found that your Target Zone for medium-intensity walking is 146 to 155 beats per minute, and you're about to go out for a jaunt. How can you stay in your Zone? How can you tell whether you're walking too slow or fast?
Here's where that seven hundred bucks comes in. Or not.
- For $100 to $700, you can buy a fancy-schmancy monitor to wear during workouts. A sensor in a chest strap radios your heart rate to a unit resembling a wristwatch, which beeps when you stray from the Zone. I tried one of these a few years ago. On the plus side, it helped me get rid of a lot of money. On the minus side, the chest strap drove me crazy. It was not only uncomfortable, but a nuisance to put on.
- For absolutely zero dollars, you can use the pacemaker you already have: your wristwatch and two fingers. Check your heart rate every five or ten minutes by 1) stopping your workout, 2) pressing an index and middle finger into the crook of your jaw and neck to find your pulse, 3) counting heartbeats for six seconds, and 4) adding a zero. The downside is that you have to stop your workout each time you take a reading. This is not only embarrassing, but inaccurate because your pulse begins slowing the moment you stop.
As a compromise, DietPower has begun offering heart-rate monitors that sit only on your wrist—they don't require you to wear a chest strap. These newer models use the same technology as the electrocardiograph at your doctor's office. They're just as comfortable as a watch. (In fact, they are watches, complete with time of day, stopwatch, countdown timer, and alarm.) They let you take a reading without stopping your workout: you simply press a fingerpad and look at the screen. Two models even estimate the number of calories your workout has burned.
For details, click the ad below. I'm not necessarily urging you to buy one (I'm wearing my editor's hat, not my founder-and-CEO's), but I do recommend that you use something to make sure your workouts are helping you as much as they should.
Comment on This Article.
(Reader opinions help us do better.)
Lose Weight Faster! No Chest Strap. Discount Prices.
New Heart-Rate Wristwatches
Unlike older models, our Sportline® heart-rate monitors don't make you wear a cumbersome chest strap. They're stylish wristwatches that use the same technology as the electrocardiograph in your doctor's office.
Besides showing your pulse, all models calculate your Target Zone (see article above) and give you time-of-day, countdown, stopwatch, and alarm functions. Some report the number of calories burned during workouts.
Best of all, we've arranged deep discounts with our suppliers. Prices range from $48.99 to $66.99.
To buy or learn more, click here.
$100 Quiz: Fruit or Vegetable?
Answer the question below to enter our quiz sweepstakes. One $100 winner is announced every quarter in Piping Hot and on our online quiz page—generally in October, January, April, and July. You must monitor the quiz page or subscribe to Piping Hot in order to to claim any prize you've won-we don't email winners. (Read the official rules.)
Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
C. Dumb question!
To answer the quiz…
…please do not reply to this email—your entry won't count. Instead, send just one response to this special email address: