Challenge #2

Know Your Numbers

This week, we’re working with FitRec to challenge you to calculate your numbers and put them to good use during your fitness activities. FitRec encourages you to find your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your Target Heart Rate. These will, in turn, help you figure out how hard you should be working out, how long you should be working out for, and how to achieve a healthy BMI.

For this week, we challenge you to find your numbers and use them when you exercise. Use the formulas below and work to complete the recommended amount of exercise time for the week.

*Please note: Consult your physician for clearance before engaging in physical exercise. If you have any questions regarding your numbers or exercise, ask your physician, a trainer at FitRec or at your own gym.

Gender Age in years Weight in pounds Height in inches

1) BMI (Body Mass Index)

Your BMI is a weight to height ratio that is used as an indicator of health and disease risk. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute).

Here’s how you figure it out: BMI = Weight (kg)/ Height (m2)

a)      Weight in pounds __________ x 0.45 = __________ kg

b)      Height in inches __________ x 0.0254 = (a) __________

  1. (a) __________ x (a) _________ = __________ height in m2

c)       BMI = weight ______(kg) / height __________ (m2)

Your BMI = __________

Here’s what that number means:

Body Mass Index
Under weight <18.5
Normal 18.5-24.9
Overweight 25.0-29.9
Obesity, Class
I 30.0- 34.9
II 35-39.9
III ≥ 40

(Modified from Expert Panel: Executive summary of the clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation and treatment of overweight and obesity in Adults. Archives of Medicine [1998] 158: 1855-1867.)

2) Target Heart Rate Range/ Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is an indicator of intensity and a range of how fast your heart should be during exercise. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends cardiovascular exercise for health benefits such as: reducing risk for heart disease and diabetes. ACSM 2010 recommendations are as follows:

  • Exercise 3-5 days per week.
  • Work out at a moderate intensity at least 30 minutes 5 days a week or work out at a vigorous intensity 20-25 minutes 3 days a week.
  • Exercises should include continuous large muscle movement for a prolonged period of time and increased heart rate.
Frequency 3-5 days per week
Intensity 40-85% of HRRa combination of moderate 40-60% HRR (you can converse in short sentences 3-5 words) and vigorous ≥ 60-85% HRR (conversation is limited to one word answers) intensities is recommended although deconditioned individuals will benefit from levels as low as 30-40% HRR
Time moderate intensity ≥30 minutes on ≥ 5 days per week or 20-25 minutes of vigorous intensity >3 days per week
Type Exercises should include continuous large muscle movement for a prolonged period of time and increase heart rate. Examples: biking, swimming, walking, jogging, skating, rowing

American College of Sports Medicine. 2010. ACSM’s Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription [8th ed.]. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Here’s how you figure it out:

1)      Find your resting heart rate. You will need a watch or clock with a second hand for this activity. Sit quietly for 5-10 minutes and relax. At the end of that time you will take your pulse at your radial artery (inside of the wrist, thumb side). Count the beats for one full minute. This is your resting heart rate (RHR) __________ bpm (beats per minute)

2)      Next you will plug numbers into this equation:

(a)    220-age = Age predicted max heart rate (MHR)
220- __________ = __________ MHR

(b)   MHR- RHR = Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)
__________ – __________ = HRR

(c)    (HRR x 0.40) + RHR = low end of your range

(__________ x 0.40) + ________  = _________ bpm (low end of your range )

(d)   (HRR x 0.85) + RHR = high end of your range

( __________ x 0.85) + RHR = __________ bpm (high end of your range)

(e)   Your Target Heart Rate Range is: __________ bpm to __________ bpm

3)      You can narrow your range depending on:

(a)    Goal

(b)   Fitness Level

(c)    Risk Factors or orthopedic limitations

(d)   Level of motivation

To win this week’s raffle: Find your target heart rate and post it to Sargent College’s Facebook page or tell us how you did with the ACSM’s exercise recommendations!


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