Do you have new clients who believe that exercise must be extremely vigorous to raise their heart rate? New research by Kyle McInnis, ScD, professor of exercise science at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, found that this just isn’t so.
In his study, presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2003, McInnis and fellow researchers studied 84 obese, middle-aged adults who were 30 to 100 pounds overweight, with below-average aerobic capacity. At the first visit, researchers measured heart rate and oxygen use while the subjects walked on a treadmill with a gradually increasing steepness until they felt fatigued. On a different day, the subjects walked 1 mile on the treadmill with instructions to maintain a “brisk but comfortable” pace. Participants completed the walk in an average of 18.7 minutes, at an average speed of 3.2 miles per hour.
The results? Everyone achieved the intensity levels that raised their heart rates to more than 55 percent of maximum as recommended by the AHA. Thirteen subjects were at moderate intensity (55 to 69 percent of maximum heart rate), 58 at hard intensity (70 to 89 percent) and 13 at very hard intensity (90 to 100 percent).