When it comes to getting the most out of your workouts, medical experts resoundingly agree that reaching your target heart rate or heart rate training zone is the key. To obtain your target heart rate, we first need to determine our maximum heart rate or MHR. Simply subtract your age from 220 and the resulting value is your MHR. For example, if you're 35 years old your MHR would be 185 beats per minute (220 - 35 = 185). Next, multiply your MHR by 50 to 70 percent and you've just identified your target heart rate. For our 35 year old, it would be 93 to 130 beats per minute (185 x .50 = 93; 185 x .70 = 130). Naturally, the first question that people ask is how does one know when they have hit that target range? One handy tip to approximate when you have hit that range is to see if you can talk, sing or perform neither while working out. If you are able to carry on a conversation but not able to sing while working out then you are likely working out with moderate intensity and are within your target heart rate. However, if you are also able to sing then you better kick it into high gear as you're likely below your target heart rate. Scientists have observed that getting your heart to beat 50 to 70 percent of one's MHR is the key to a long and healthy life. Even though burning calories is helpful to melting the pounds away, it does not compare to the lasting benefits of strengthening your heart. Your heart is like any muscle in the body. The more you work it out the stronger it becomes. The stronger your heart is the more efficient it pumps blood throughout your body which means your heart beats less and the less it beats the longer is lasts. So the next time you are working out you better not skip the cardio and you better ensure you're in the zone of your target heart rate!