Whole grains can lower your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and have been associated with a 15% lower overall mortality rate. They are also linked to lower risks of stroke and obesity. Finally, the dietary fiber in whole grains makes you feel full, so you are likely to eat fewer calories. Therefore, including whole grains in your regular diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
When grocery shopping, read food labels carefully to find good sources of whole grains. True whole-grain products will list whole wheat, whole oats, or some other whole grain as the main ingredient, and when possible, choose products that are made with 100% whole grains. If the label simply says, “made with wheat flour,” that could be a marketing ploy, since even highly processed white flour is made from wheat flour. Another thing to keep in mind: whole grains have to be stored a little more carefully than refined grains. Keep whole grains covered, in a cool, dry place for up to three months for flours/meals and six months for intact grains. Put any grains or flours you don’t plan to use right away in the freezer.
- Cooked cereals are a wonderful choice (try this Apple-Scented Oatmeal with Buckwheat), but also consider adding oats, millet, or bulgur to muffin batter.
- Grain salads are perfect for packed lunches. Repurpose last night’s leftovers by mixing whole grains with beans, chopped veggies, and a simple vinaigrette for a mid-day meal that will keep you full until dinner.
- Whole grains make the perfect side dish. Try this easy Forbidden Rice with Scallions.
- Add whole grains to a veggie burger, like this Bulgur-Black Bean Veggie Burger, or use them to bulk up vegetable soups.
- Stuff cooked whole grains into hollowed out bell peppers or squash, then bake.
American Heart Association. “Whole Grains and Fiber.” Updated August 6, 2015. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/HealthyDietGoals/Whole-Grains-and-Fiber_UCM_303249_Article.jsp#.VrYPXFJOJFI
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “More Whole Grains Linked with Lower Mortality.” Published January 5, 2015. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/more-whole-grains-linked-with-lower-mortality-risk/
Whole Foods Market. “Whole Grains.” http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/food-guides/whole-grains
Photo Credit: Healthline. http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/diet-diva/nutritional-superstar-whole-grains
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So if you are 40 years old, it would look like this:
206.9 – (0.67 x 40=26.8) = 180.1 HRmax
The other important number to know is your Resting Heart Rate. This number is determined when you are completely at rest. A good time to measure is first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. To find your target zones, let's pretend your Resting Heart Rate is 80, and we'll round your HRmax to 180:
[(HRmax – Resting HR) x % intensity] + Resting HR = Target HR
[(180 – 80) x .65 = 65] + 80 = 145
[(180 – 80) x .85 = 85] + 80 = 165
Target HR Range= 145-165
So as you can see, Target Heart Rate Training isn't rocket science, but it does require a little bit of math. Once you have determined your target range, how do you use it? Well, you'll need to check your heart rate periodically during exercise. You can check it manually by lightly pressing your fingertips on the inside of your wrist, counting your pulse for 15 seconds, and multiplying by 4. There is also a variety of devices designed to track your heart rate electronically. One of the most accurate devices for measuring your heart rate is the chest strap model, which fits close to the body, measures your heart rate continuously, and transmits it to some type of receiver. Wrist watch-style devices, smart phones, etc can all act as receivers, and some cardio machines including indoor cycles are also able to "sync" with electronic monitors. Strapless models (most commonly watch-style) are more affordable and comfortable, but are often less accurate.
If you have questions about target heart rates, we have team members who can assist you! Contact us.