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Obese and can't reach cardio level on fitbit

creesamacreesama Member Posts: 88 Member Member Posts: 88 Member
So I was using our elliptical and going as hard as I could for 20 minutes with tons of sweat and legs starting to turn to jelly. My heart rate was up, but never stayed in the cardio range. Is it going to take more strength and endurance before I reach the cardio level? I didn't push further as I was starting to feel unstable. It's embarrassing to be honest, luckily it's in our home instead of a gym. I can say it's felt less awkward since losing 22lbs, but I've still got a long way to go here at 252lbs
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Replies

  • creesamacreesama Member Posts: 88 Member Member Posts: 88 Member
    You are doing cardio with an elevated rate, which is good. Better than sitting.
    Ok 👌 I guess I just don't understand fitbit's gauge of what is/isn't cardio according to heart rate.
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 7,737 Member Member Posts: 7,737 Member
    How old are you and what was your heart rate range?
  • BeautyofdreamsBeautyofdreams Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
    It just takes time. When my rec center opened in June, the first month I used the ellipitical it said my heart rate was in the 30% range. As july is ending , my heart rate is now in the 50% range. Still not the training range but getting better.

    Keep working and consistently make the effort to get faster or ride longer and you will begin to see improvements. I can't tell you how soon you will improve because we all start our fitness journey with different bodies, but you will improve as long as you keep doing it.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 5,359 Member Member Posts: 5,359 Member
    The upper end of heartrate is genetically determined. Yours might simply be lower than average. Just ignore this. You're moving. That's important
  • RockingWithLJRockingWithLJ Member Posts: 206 Member Member Posts: 206 Member
    Heck im not obese and i still couldnt get a good reading on that thing. Im curious: when you manually check your heartrate (count your pulses over a one minute time) does what your watch match your count? Mine never did when working out
    edited July 28
  • moonangel12moonangel12 Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member
    I never check the heart rate on my Apple Watch, on any of the exercises I do- weights, walking, running, yoga, Pilates.

    Results speak.

    We can get so invested in electronics (I’m looking at YOU, fat% measuring electronic scale!) and tracking accuracy that we lose track of what really matters.

    And not a Luddite here. I looooooooves me some electronic gadgets.

    You got off your butt, my friend. That’s half the battle right there.
    I agree that electronics are a good tool, but can also be distracting for the overall goal (I have seen more than once on here people asking about putting their trackers on their ankles so that they can earn steps while biking). I am very aware of my HR on my Garmin, it’s part of the reason why I have one (I have intermittent issues with my HR and palpitations), but I don’t pay too much attention to the zones during exercise... you know you are working your butt off - great job!! Don’t let the electronic device discourage you :heart:
  • josh250to180josh250to180 Member, Premium Posts: 23 Member Member, Premium Posts: 23 Member
    Increase the resistance on the machine, and your heart rate will go up. The difference between fat burn and cardio burn is where the body gets its calories for oxidation. In cardio, it has to happen fast, so it uses sugars (glucose stores) because it takes less energy to oxidize quickly. In fat burn, the body has a little more time to gather the energy to oxidize, so it can keep more glycogen (glucose) stores for when it needs it. It is not as black and white as that, as a runner out for a slow endurance run will deplete glycogen stores as well. But the body will find the most efficient way to accomplish kinetic movement from potential energy.

    If you can’t get your heart rate up, the body is not facing enough resistance to a motion. Increase that resistance.

    To check for error, count your heart rate manually, and compare that with the fitbit. Sometimes, it doesn't read correctly. There are many times I get frustrated as I am running up a mountain, and it says my heart rate is 94 bpm. :-)
    edited July 28
  • extra_mediumextra_medium Member Posts: 1,517 Member Member Posts: 1,517 Member
    I think the issue is the range that the Fitbit is looking for - if the range is set incorrectly, it won't register as whatever it considers "cardio level"

    I'm sure there's a way to personalize it to your age/height/weight etc but I am not sure how.
  • psychod787psychod787 Member, Premium Posts: 3,625 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,625 Member
    I rarely workout hard enough to stay in the cardio range for long.

    I lost over 80 pounds that way. It's more about the food. Exercise is good for you and cardio range is good for your heart etc., but it's something that takes consistent conditioning. If it's important to you, you'll get there. One day at a time.


    You're lapping the people sitting on the couch. Keep it going. :)

    The fat burning "zone" is a myth anyways. When you contract a muscle, you burn energy. Not likely going to get much more if your heart rate is elevated.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,419 Member Member Posts: 30,419 Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    I rarely workout hard enough to stay in the cardio range for long.

    I lost over 80 pounds that way. It's more about the food. Exercise is good for you and cardio range is good for your heart etc., but it's something that takes consistent conditioning. If it's important to you, you'll get there. One day at a time.


    You're lapping the people sitting on the couch. Keep it going. :)

    The fat burning "zone" is a myth anyways. When you contract a muscle, you burn energy. Not likely going to get much more if your heart rate is elevated.

    For weight loss purposes, you're right.


    "Cardio" isn't just about weight loss.

    Fitbit is going to adjust calories regardless of 80bpm or 140bpm. The whole "cardio zone" thing is just weird.
  • creesamacreesama Member Posts: 88 Member Member Posts: 88 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    If you could talk anywhere from only a short sentence at a time to just a few words, before you had to get back to breathing - you were actually in your cardio zone.
    As you get more fit, where the HR happens to be when that occurs will go up.

    If you get to point of only a word at a time before you better breath - above that zone.
    If you can get a whole sentence in easily and could keep going - below that zone.

    Excellent, thanks for this tip! An easy way to gauge where I'm at!
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Member Posts: 1,959 Member Member Posts: 1,959 Member
    Just keep going. My run today was incredibly slow. My knee is acting up, I'm wearing a mask, and it was hot out. But I got out there. That's a win. You're winning too. Keep at it. My goal right now (since I can't swim or lift because my gym is closed) is building new habits. That's what got me fit in the first place. When the COVID rug got pulled out from under me, I ended up walking and running waaaay more than my knee or feet are used to. Scaled back. Started again. Lost some fitness, but building it back. And as we go, we learn more and more. What I'm learning now is quite different from what I was learning 5 years ago, but still valuable. It's ongoing. You're out there! :) That's a win.
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Member Posts: 9,036 Member Member Posts: 9,036 Member
    My experience has also been that wrist based HRMs are not as accurate as chest strap ones (I was getting some bizarre numbers from my Garmin Fenix while running before going back to the chest strap)


    Don't fixate on HR zones but on perceived effort instead. Most of your workouts should be at an intensity where you can carry on a conversation with the occasional hard one thrown now and again.
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