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March Fitness Tips

Michelle Walker, the Recreational Specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for her photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011.  Michelle was hired to work at the base gym to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. 
(SCANG photo by TSgt Caycee Cook)

Michelle Walker, the Recreational Specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for her photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011. Michelle was hired to work at the base gym to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. (SCANG photo by TSgt Caycee Cook)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

How to reach your maximum heart rate with exercise

Another way to gauge your exercise intensity is to see how hard your heart is beating during physical activity. To use this method, you first have to figure out your maximum heart rate — the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

The basic way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're 45 years old, subtract 45 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 175. This is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.

Once you know your maximum heart rate, you can calculate your desired target heart rate zone — the level at which your heart is being exercised and conditioned but not overworked.

The American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a general target heart rate of:

  • Moderate exercise intensity: 50 to about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate
  • Vigorous exercise intensity: 70 to about 85 percent of your maximum heart rate

If you're not fit or you're just beginning an exercise program, aim for the lower end of your target zone. Then, gradually build up the intensity.  If you're healthy and want a vigorous intensity, opt for the higher end of the zone.

7 Refreshing Foods to Help You Stay Hydrated

 

It’s important to stay hydrated and it can be easy to fall behind in your water intake. In addition to water and other healthy drinks, you can eat foods, such as cucumbers or strawberries that can contribute to your fluid intake, helping to prevent the headaches and sluggishness caused by dehydration. Another good reason to eat water? Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. Here are seven of our favorite foods with water.

1. Cucumbers

 

At 95 percent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Cucumbers also provide a little fiber and some vitamin C (about 6 percent of the Daily Value per cup). Don’t limit your cucumber consumption to tossing slices into green salads; get inspired to make refreshing cucumber recipes: dips, and soups.

 

2. Salad Greens

 

Part of the reason that 2 cups of salad greens has fewer than 15 calories is that greens are more than 90 percent water. They are also packed with nutrients, such as folate, vitamin C, fiber and the antioxidant beta carotene, which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Plus, having a salad for lunch (or dinner) is a great way to have a couple of veggie servings.

 

3. Strawberries

 

Strawberries deliver the most vitamin C of all berries and also provide folate, a B vitamin that’s essential for the healthy growth of new cells. And, since they’re 91 percent water, they’ll contribute significantly toward your overall fluid intake. Eat them straight up or try them in a new strawberry recipe: they’re special in everything from salads to baked goods.

 

4. Watermelon

 

Ninety-two percent water (hence the name), watermelon is a good source of vitamin C and, when it’s red (some are orange or yellow), also has lycopene.

 

5. Yogurt

 

Depending on your preferred type, regular plain yogurt is 85 to 88% water (surprisingly, there’s more water in fuller-fat yogurt). You’ll also get calcium, some B vitamins (namely B12 and riboflavin) and good-for-you probiotics.

 

6. Papaya

 

At 88 percent water, this fruit will help you stay hydrated. Better yet, 1 cup delivers 3 grams of fiber for just 55 calories.

 

7. Butternut Squash

This sweet and nutty squash is 88 percent water. A cup of cooked butternut squash also boasts over 400 percent of your Daily Value for vitamin A, a key nutrient for eye health as well as healthy doses of vitamin C, potassium and manganese.