top of page

Unlocking the Top Secret for Enhancing Your Cardiovascular Health through Exercise

When it comes to fitness training especially the term cardio, we tend to focus on many factors but none are more less know than the secret of Zone 2 training.

What is Zone 2 Training

Zone 2 refers to a low-intensity heart rate zone (between 60% to 70% of the maximum heart rate). Zone 2 training enhances fat loss, cardiovascular health, and healthy mitochondrial function.

The zones go upward in intensity from one to five:

  • Zone 1 (50-60% HRmax): Lower intensity movements, mostly warm-up and cool-down exercises.

  • Zone 2 (60-70% HRmax): Moderate activity, with potential manageability for longer periods.

  • Zone 3 (70-80% HRmax): Aerobic exercise, higher intensity training than zone 2, but more difficult to sustain for longer periods.

  • Zone 4 (80-90% HRmax): Intense anaerobic exercise that builds muscle, such as weight lifting.

  • Zone 5 (90%+ HRmax): Exercises and drills performed at maximal exertion for short periods of time, like sprints.

How to calculate Zone 2 training level:

  1. Estimate your maximum heart rate based on your age. To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm)

  2. To determine Zone 2 training level simply take your maximum heart rate and multiply by 60% and 70%. So the 50 -year-old person with a maximum age-related heart rate would have a Zone 2 training level at 102 (60%) and 119 (70%).

Table of the heart rate intensity zones
Table of the heart rate intensity zones

Compliments of

Zone 2 training can enhance your health and cardiovascular health

  • Increase in the number of mitochondria

  • increase in mitochondrial efficiency

  • increase in “metabolic flexibility”

  • lower resting heart rate

  • a decrease in blood pressure

  • lower risk of injury

  • improves insulin resistance

  • improve your ability to run/cycle longer

  • improve your resilience and ability to deal with increasing load.

  • improved longevity

Best Exercises to Incorporate Zone 2 Training

  • Walking

  • Light jogging

  • Rowing

  • Swimming

  • Biking/cycling

  • Dancing

What is the right dose of zone 2?

For a beginner: 2 hours a week is a good place to start Ideally: 3-4 hours per week

Beyond Medicine Comments:

Exercise comes in all different forms and I commonly err on the side of being conservative but still striving for optimal benefits. I see way too many people pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion to obtain cardiovascular and fat loss health benefits. It simply is not necessary and in fact can be counterproductive for optimal health and even fat loss.

Zone 2 offers what I commonly hear as the "sweet spot" for achieving optimal cardiovascular health.

With proper clearance from your physician I strongly encourage Zone 2 training. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the benefits.


** Always consult with a physician or healthcare practitioner with significant integrative or functional medicine training before starting any form of exercise.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Somji and his functional medicine community. Dr. Somji encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. This article is compliments of


bottom of page