Math is used in almost every area of our lives, whether it’s basic addition and subtraction or more advanced formulas and calculations. When playing a sport, you use math to keep track of the score and figure out the points needed to win the game. You can even use math to tell the time or calculate the amount of time left in a game, an inning, or a quarter.

Did You Know Math can Also be Used in Exercise and Workouts?

Math can help you stay fit! You use math to calculate your heart rate while exercising or calculate the calories burned. 

How is Math Relevant to Fitness?

  • It helps us maintain our exercise routine.
  • It helps us track our progress in terms of fitness.
  • It tells us when to take water breaks.

While remaining healthy isn’t typically thought of as a numerical activity, math is involved in every aspect of exercise. Math is used to keep track of a person’s fitness progress and results. Using math, you can keep track of how many push-ups or sit-ups you can perform each day as a measure of your stamina. You can also keep an account of how many miles you can run in a given timeframe.

Running is a common physical activity. Pulse is a means of evaluating heart rate, or how many times our hearts beat in one minute. Knowing your pulse can help you evaluate your physical exertion. Math can help us do this.

Math Formulas in Relation to Fitness

Athletes apply math to calculate their heart rate, beats per minute, and time. Your resting heart rate (RHR) is your heart rate when you get up in the morning. Put your index and middle finger on your wrist or the carotid artery in your neck to determine your RHR. Now multiply that amount by six to get the number of beats in 10 seconds. This rate might range anywhere from 40 to 100 beats per minute. Men have an average heart rate of 70 beats per minute, while women have an average heart rate of 75 beats per minute.

  • HRmax (Maximum Heart Rate) is the maximum heart rate a person can obtain when exercising. It is calculated as HRmax =220– (your) age.
  • Numbers and formulas can help us calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI tells us if we are overweight. You can calculate your BMI from your height and weight measurements.

The standard formula for BMI is: Weight (kg)÷Height(m)  

You also need math to convert weight into kilograms and height into meters. 

For example,

Height Conversion:  height in inches × 0.0254 = height in meters

Based on what you score on the BMI, you can tell what category you fall into: Underweight (=<18.5), Normal weight (18.5–24.9), Overweight (25–29.9), or Obese (30 or greater)


Let’s take an example:

  • Sumit is 5 feet  4 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. To find his BMI, we’ll do the following calculations:
  1. Convert lbs to kg: 180 x 0.45 = 81 kg
  2. Convert height to meters: 5 feet 4 inches =  64 inches x 2.54 = 163 inches =  1.63 m
  3. Now, we find the square of the height: 1.63 X 1.63 = 2.66
  4. Then, divide the weight by the product of the height squared:  81/2.66 = 30.45

Thus, BMI = 30.45

Based on his BMI measurement, you can tell that Sumit would be considered overweight.

  • Further, body fat calculations can also be done (Fat Mass=%Body Fat× Body Weight)

Before beginning a fitness routine, we usually take measurements and calculate the body fat index, BMI, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). By comparing the initial numbers with the follow-up results, you can assess if your fitness routine is working for you.

Use Math to Maintain Your Diet

You can also use mathematical algorithms to interpret nutritional labels and determine calorie intake. As a result, you get a better understanding of how carbohydrates, protein, and fat are converted into calories and how this affects portion size.

For example, suppose you order a medium pizza with eight slices and eat two of them. What fraction of the pizza did you eat? You’ve eaten 2/8 or ¼ (one quarter) of the pizza. Now, if you want to find out how many calories are in 1/4 of a serving, convert the fraction into a decimal. So, one divided by 4 = 0.25, then multiplied by the number of calories in the serving. Suppose each serving has 450 calories, Multiply 450 X 0.25 = 112.5 calories. So, two slices of pizza that you ate had 112.5 calories.

Math can also be used to convert units of measurement, such as converting your height from feet to inches to meters for the BMI or calculating the number of calories burned during an activity.

Math assists in maintaining an exercise regimen by counting each movement or step and keeping track of time and progress. While exercising, you may very well be able to apply math and learn how to use it successfully.

If this blog interests you, why not read more such blogs by BYJU’S FutureSchool?

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