In January 2020, six months after starting Orangetheory Fitness, Ania Wronski’s new fitness watch measured her resting heart rate as 65 beats per minute. Now, nearing class number 700 of her Orangetheory workouts, that resting heart rate number has dropped to 50.
Ania is elated, because that means her heart is working more efficiently. Every day, she feels the effects of her dedication, whether she’s in her Redwood Shores or Redwood City studios in California or just living her life – as she was in early January, when she posted this on an Orangetheory Facebook page:
“I biked for more than three hours in the Florida heat and not once felt out of breath.
“Orangetheory Fitness has changed my heart and my life.”
Not every member will experience such a significant drop in resting heart rate. Yet what every member will experience – with each class taken, each class completed, each goal strived for and met – is better cardiorespiratory fitness and improved heart function.
Change takes heart. And that’s exactly what Orangetheory is all about.
Ever since Ellen Latham founded the company in 2010, Orangetheory workouts have been a science-based bridge between fitness and heart health. Based on five heart-rate zones, each 60-minute session is a unique interval-training workout that contributes to changes in overall physical, emotional and mental health – especially when it comes to the heart.
And that makes Orangetheory’s affiliation with the American Heart Association so impactful. Since 2019, Orangetheory has been one of the top 10 Life is Why fundraisers for this amazing organization. Orangetheory members have raised $2.5 million – $969,000 in 2022 alone – toward the mission of the AHA.
Strengthening that bond even further, Orangetheory will again partner with the American Heart Association to commemorate Heart Month in February. That means participating in Wear Red Day on February 3, hosting a 90-minute donation class on the weekend of February 18, and rallying studios all month long to support the cause that’s so near and dear to – well, our hearts.
As Eduardo Sanchez, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Prevention at the American Heart Association told Orangetheory, “There are so many things we want people to know, so I’ll try to be pithy: Heart health equals a longer, healthier life.”
Change takes heart.
“Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the world”, says Orangetheory research scientist Brittany Masteller, PhD. “But participating in three Orangetheory workouts every week – for a total 180 minutes – exceeds the 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity recommended in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”
Every Orangetheory workout incorporates higher, not just moderate intensity exercise, Dr. Masteller says.
“You’re pushing your heart to a higher percentage of its maximum. By definition, Orangetheory’s interval training workouts alternate higher with lower intensity. That allows your cardiovascular system to partially, but not fully, recover between intervals.”
This type of workout, she says, helps your heart work more efficiently. An efficient heart is a stronger heart, and a stronger heart can help reduce blood pressure, improve circulatory function and improve skeletal muscular function. It can strengthen emotional health as well, and help us sleep better.
Change takes heart.
The Orangetheory workouts are, first and foremost, a catalyst for a healthy heart. That’s why, starting this February, members can now access an even more detailed breakdown of their heart rate and performance data after every class, thus helping them track improvements over time.
And while many members set out on their Orangetheory journey to burn more calories and to lose weight, those logical and understandable goals can be intertwined with the heart-health aspect.
Still, Dr. Masteller says, “We want to reframe in members’ minds that heart health is a huge factor in our workouts. It’s not just about losing weight. It’s about showing up for class and improving your efforts on the tread. It’s about strengthening your heart which helps you live our mission of More Life.”
Quite literally, a strong heart contributes greatly to More Life – in actual time spent on this earth as well as being able to do more while we’re here.
“This means energy to play with your kids, gaining confidence to carry in and out of the studio,” Dr. Masteller says. “By participating in these workouts, these combinations of cardiovascular and strength training, you’ll be able to show up better able for yourself today, but you’re also invested in changing your future health.”