Anyone who exercises more seriously knows the heart rate zones.
And from the watchOS 9o Apple Watch is able to show you which zone you are in during the practice of a physical exercise.
In this article, you will not only learn how to activate this feature, but you will also understand why these zones are so important.
What are heart rate zones?
Of course, we are not experts on this subject and if you are really interested in going deeper into this, we advise you to look for specialized websites or your cardiologist.
Our goal here is just to give an overview of this Apple Watch feature and what it is for.
Well, the concept is simple: the more you exert yourself, the higher your heart rate will be, i.e., the faster your heart will beat.
But depending on the rhythm of those beats, you are developing a different capacity in your body. Lose weight, or gain strength. Or else increase your VO2max.
So, if you keep your workout within the heart zone which best develops what you want, it will make that workout more efficient and give you more results.
That’s why they divided it into ranges of heartbeats, called zones.
What are the heartbeat zones?
- ZONE 1 : Used to increase the body’s ability to recover faster, in addition to speeding up metabolism.
- ZONE 2 : Keeping the frequency in this second zone can help strengthen the heart muscles. It is also known as the “aerobic fitness threshold” as at this point the body begins to reap the positive effects of aerobic exercise.
- ZONE 3 : It is the moderate zone. Still within the aerobic range, it brings benefits not only to the heart, but also to the respiratory system. It helps to increase resistance and aerobic power, that is, the ability to transport oxygen to the muscles and remove carbon dioxide.
- ZONES 4 and 5 : They are in the anaerobic range. The intent here is to train endurance and the combination of strength and endurance. Especially interval training falls into this category, where it would be described as hard or very hard. Zone 5 can also improve your VO2max.
How to find your training zones
Each zone is calculated on top of different percentages of the Maximum Heart Rate (FCM) of each individual.
There are several ways to calculate the FCM, but the most used is also the simplest: it’s the value 220 minus your age.
So if you’re 35, 220 – 35 = 185, your maximum heart rate.
Of course, this is just a general curiosity, because the ideal is you ask your cardiologist about your FCM.
Knowing your heart rate, you can determine your heart rate zones:
- Zone 1: 50–60% and FCM
- Zone 2: 60–70% and FCM
- Zone 3: 70–80% and FCM
- Zone 4: 80–90% and FCM
- Zone 5: Above 90% of FCM
If you’ve entered your date of birth into the iOS Health app, it automatically calculates your custom zones for you.
Heart Rate Zones on Apple Watch
If you do your workout using an Apple Watch, you can see the zone you’re in in real time, allowing you to understand your intensity level.
To view, follow these steps:
- On Apple Watch, open the Workout app.
- Start an aerobic workout — it could be an outdoor run or an elliptical session, for example.
- Drag the screen up, or turn the Digital Crown to view zones.
View zones after exercise
If you want to see later how much time you spent in each moment of the exercise, it’s easy:
- open the app Fitness no iPhone
- Open the record of the exercise you did
- Em beatstap Show more
How to edit Heart Rate Zones
If you prefer to calculate your heart rate zones yourself, you can edit them manually:
- On your watch, open the Settings app.
- Go to menu Exercise > Heart Rate Zones
- Select Manual
- Tap on each zone to edit them.
Which Apple Watch models are compatible?
If you ever thought “Ah, but this should only be for the new models“… ERROR!
This is a watchOS 9 feature, released to all models that can run it. This includes SE models and all Series 4 and up.
Now that you know what this new Apple Watch feature is for, dig deeper into this subject and start structuring your workouts based on your heart rate zones.
The results will be better and more efficient.