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Health, Heart Health

Is Walking Considered As Zone 2 Cardio? Types Of Training Zones

If you are new to this whole concept of zones, we will start with that first. Heart rate zones are basically different percentages of your ...

by Kendra Reed

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

If you are new to this whole concept of zones, we will start with that first. Heart rate zones are basically different percentages of your maximum heart rate. In simpler terms, it helps us understand how hard our heart is working when we are actively engaging in physical activities.

Your heart has the job of pumping blood. So as per your activity level, your heart might work hard to be at pace with the demands of your body. There are 5 heart rate zones. These 5 zones can be used in your workout sessions so that you have a better understanding of your workouts and make the best out of it. We will see what these zones are:

☑️ Zone 1

This is usually the target zone for warmups and recovery. Extremely light-intensity activity. Calories burned are 85% fat. Here the maximum heart rate is at 50 to 60 %

☑️ Zone 2

Target for base-level aerobic activity. Feels like a stable and manageable session, you will probably be able to hold conversations at this activity level. Around 65% of the calories burned are fat. The maxim heart range is 60 to 70%

☑️ Zone 3

Target Aerobic endurance activity. Might feel like a little bit of the push. May be able to hold conversations but not that easily. Roughly 45% of the calories burned are fat. The maximum heart range at this range is 70 to 80%. You would be able to maintain this state for around 30 mins.

☑️ Zone 4

Target range for anaerobic activity. You might feel the burn but can still push it through. Holding conversations might be nearly impossible. The maximum heart range in this zone is 80 to 90 %.

☑️ Zone 5

This is maxing out on your efforts. One can barely stay in this range for a few minutes. Your heart range is at 90 to 100 %. 

What Is Zone 2 Cardio? Does Walking Fall In This Category?

You might have heard your athlete friends or other fitness freaks use the term zone 2 for low-intensity workouts. This range might feel really comfortable as you are not going all out or pushing your limits. Our hearts are fast-paced but within a sustainable range.

Walking As Zone 2 Exercise

Here we try to maintain our pace rather than doing an overload of an activity. Zone 2 is usually the focus of endurance athletes. The major benefit of zone two training is that it improves your aerobic capacity. This means that your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently is improved making your workouts feel less intense over time.

Walking is an endurance activity that can bring up your heart rate and can be included in zone 2 training if you are maintaining a strong pace and walking briskly. But walking at a very low pace in a leisurely manner while casually calling your friend might not do the trick.

Again zone 2 looks different for different people. So we have given below the detailed steps on how to calculate your heart rate so you can keep up with your walking session and maintain the zone 2 range.

Zone 2 cardio examples

Zone 2 cardio can be any type of cardio method. Even walking your dog can be put into this category. Running, hiking, jogging, cycling, rowing, swimming, skating, rollerblading, etc. can count in this category. 

How To Calculate Your Heart Range Zone?

This method is called the Karvonen formula. There is a little bit of maths involved, but nothing too complicated.

([Maximum heart rate – resting heart rate] x % intensity) + resting heart rate = training zone.

You can directly calculate using this formula or you can break it down and calculate as mentioned below.

  1. Maximum heart rate – resting heart rate = heart rate reserve
  2. (Heart rate reserve * percentage of intensity) + resting heart rate

Maximum heart rate = 220 – your age

Minimum heart rate = calculate your resting heart rate by checking your pulse when you are sitting idle

Need to do some more math to get an estimate of your target heart rate per zone.

You will have to multiply the heart rate reserve by the percentage of the maximum heart rate that each zone represents. Now the percent of each zone are given below

Zone 1 – 50%

Zone 2 – 60%

Zone 3 – 70%

Zone 4 – 80%

Zone 5 – 90%

After multiplying that and finding the value add your resting heart rate and you have finally found your target heart rate for each zone.

How Much Zone 2 Cardio Per Week?

It kind of varies depending on your activity level. If you are a fit person who regularly workout then a 30 to 45-minute session twice a week would be suitable.

If your current lifestyle is very much idle sitting or sedentary then any amount of activity would be better. Not moving can cause a lot of issues and we don’t want that. So try including at least a walking or jogging session two to three times a week.

Final Thoughts

Zone 2 cardio basically means low-intensity exercises like walking, running, jogging, etc. This zone is focused on maintaining your heart rate at a steady level. This zone uses around 60 to 70% of your heart rate.

An individual who regularly works out is suggested to include 30 to 45-minute sessions for two days a week. It comes with many benefits like improved heart health, better endurance, and enhanced power and performance.

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