Understanding Your Most Important Muscle


Understanding Your Most Important Muscle

This week I wanted to take a deeper dive into your Key Health Indicators, or KHI’s for short. We know from yesterday’s email that taking stock of certain quantitative indicators is a great way to monitor your health status and the one I want to focus on today is resting heart rate.

Resting heart rate is exactly what it sounds like, the rate at which your heart beats at rest. Studies show that people who exercise more regularly have a lower resting heart rate than sedentary people. While heart rate increases as a result of physical activity, an overall decrease in resting heart rate is possible over time. This means that the heart is working less to get the necessary nutrients and oxygen to different parts of the body, making it more efficient. A good resting heart rate for an adult is under 80 beats per minute.

This can be a great indicator of your overall health and independent predictor of early onset cardiovascular death. In a metastudy spanning 46 different studies involving more than 2 million patients in all, comparing people with the lowest resting heart rate, to those with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats a minute, showed that people with a resting heart rate over 80 had a 45 percent greater risk of death from any cause, while people with a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 beats a minute had a 21 percent greater risk. That means that your chances of dying from anything more than doubled if your resting heart rate was over 80.

So how do we improve resting heart rate? Simple, we exercise more. The complicated part is knowing what exercises to do, for how long you should be doing them, and at what level of intensity. The answers to those questions vary from person to person depending on goals, age, medications, injuries, and experience. You wouldn’t want to train a 18 year old healthy person the same way you would a 41 year old person who never worked out before. This could lead to injury and even worse illness. You must train the right way for you, and that’s why you need good coaches around you.

At Live Free we use a prescriptive approach to fitness, and we treat everyone individually. If you are unsure of where you should be starting then allow us to guide you along the way. With over 20 years of experience in competing, training, and coaching we have worked with everyone under the sun, giving us an edge over most gyms who think that a good workout is one that leaves you struggling for your life as you roll around on the floor.

Now I’m not saying there isn’t a time to feel that way, but what I am saying is that model doesn’t work for everyone all of the time. That is why we are starting our very own endurance program at Live Free. This program will focus more on building cardiovascular endurance and increasing your body’s work capacity. With our smaller classes, due to county restrictions, we will be running more auxiliary programs to meet all of our member’s health and wellness needs. This will allow you guys the opportunity to train in a more balanced and effective way and increase health as well as performance.

As this week goes on I will be expanding on the what, why, and how of aerobic training and why you need to be doing more of it. So keep an eye out for my emails and let’s continue to improve our lives by making better decisions about how we train. I look forward to seeing you guys again soon!