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Another heart rate question
Old 05-07-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Another heart rate question

I am 30 years old and in reasonably good shape. I was a swimmer in college and am accustomed to high intensity workouts. My resting HR is ~40. My wife, a physical therapist, has a theory that I don't need to raise my heart rate as much for aerobic activity as much as average person because my resting HR is low. It scares her that my active (treadmill, rowing machine, swimming for <10 minutes before rest interval) HR is 180+ she thinks that I am hurting myself. I hate to tell her that my resting HR was 35 and touched 210 (more typically~200) while active in college. Question: Does your resting HR determine your max HR? Does it hurt you to exercise near your max HR?
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about it. The old mathematical formula 220-your age wasn't accurate when it was first created and it still isn't. My resting is 50 and I have seen 195 while exercising (thanks to a VO2 max test, I know I am not even anerobic till I hit 180). My husband has a resting of 50 and his highest was 140 (when climbing Mount Kilamanjaro). People are variable. (We are both in our 20's).

There is a theory currently being bandied about that people who were active children reach higher numbers than the supposed max as a result. Its just a theory, though and they really don't have a good way of saying how high is too high (except for the swimmer who would hit 300, they had to kill some of her heart cells so she didn't overdo it).
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
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I am 30 years old and in reasonably good shape. I was a swimmer in college and am accustomed to high intensity workouts. My resting HR is ~40. My wife, a physical therapist, has a theory that I don't need to raise my heart rate as much for aerobic activity as much as average person because my resting HR is low. It scares her that my active (treadmill, rowing machine, swimming for <10 minutes before rest interval) HR is 180+ she thinks that I am hurting myself. I hate to tell her that my resting HR was 35 and touched 210 (more typically~200) while active in college. Question: Does your resting HR determine your max HR? Does it hurt you to exercise near your max HR?
I don't believe so. I've always had a low resting HR. I'm 53 and at a recent treadmill stress test it was 49 before I started. It does take me a long time to get my HR up to 140 (~80% max) and DW is like yours in that she doesn't think I need to get it as high as that. On the stress test I got to the "max" of 170 after 12 minutes then it stayed there for another 2 minutes before the nurse stopped the test. I'm certain I could have gone for another minute easily enough.

Only time I got worried was 18 months ago on when I did a 90 minute "super cardio workout" at the YMCA with an instructor I really like (it was July 4 and there was about 30 in the class). I was wearing a heart monitor and at times I was hitting 210. I didn't feel ill or anything. However, 20 minutes later back home it was still at 90 - which is NOT the norm for me.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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I don't believe there's a significant relationship between your resting and maximum heart rate.

I'm 48 and my resting heart rate is between 35 and 40. The lowest I've measured it for a full minute is 31 (counting my pulse). I've seen it get down to 30 for short periods while wearing a heart monitor. During the last five or so years, the highest I've seen it is 185 (climbing up hill on a bike). It's probably gone higher without me noticing when either I wasn't wearing a heart monitor (I normally don't), or I was too occupied to look down. I start going anaerobic around 165-170, although I can hold 175 for fairly long times.

I've seen my resting pulse drop a little over the years. I don't know what my maximum was when I was young, but I have no reason to believe it wasn't 210+ during my track and cross country days in college.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:56 PM   #5
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Dang that resting heart rate you have is like Lance Armstrong's
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:10 PM   #6
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I don't believe there's a significant relationship between your resting and maximum heart rate.
I agree, assuming an otherwise healty heart.

There's a condition called "sick sinus syndrome" where the normal pacemaker of the heart varies between too slow (with fainting) or too fast (with lightheadedness) or worse. You can't treat the fast rhythm with meds because it make the heart too slow, and vice versa. So you have to insert a pacemaker and then treat the rapid heart beat. The term "sinus" comes from the official natural pacemaker of the heart called the sinus node.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:34 AM   #7
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Your heart rate will drop precipitously after a good cardio workout but will remain slightly higher than normal for several hours. This is perfectly normal.

Here is a true resting heart rate guideline published by the American Heart Association:

Resting Heart Rate

Athletes use this method to gauge whether they are overtraining or not.

I never take my pulse during the day. There are way too many variations to cause it fluctuate (i.e. food in stomach, stress, caffeine, allergies, etc). The morning is the best time. My HR runs in the low 40's in the morning.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:03 PM   #8
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So sorry to hijack this thread, but may I please ask a heart rate question? Sometimes in the middle of the night, my heart beats so fast that I think I can hear it. One night this week I woke up around 2:00ish, and my heart was beating so hard and fast that I couldn't go back to sleep. I felt fine, otherwise, but this is scary. After an hour or so of listening to my heart thump, I finally fell asleep and by morning, heart rate seemed normal. This has happened a few other times. I'm a 51 y/o female, slim, no health problems and exercise 4-5 times per week. Should I be concerned?
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:18 PM   #9
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I'm a 51 y/o female, slim, no health problems and exercise 4-5 times per week. Should I be concerned?
One word ---> perimenopause or menopause. Tachycardia in the middle of the night is very common (with hot flashes) with women approaching that "time". However, you really should see a doctor to rule out other possible factors. I had this symptom for two years straight! I practically lived in my cardiologist's waiting room , until I found out I was out of estrogen from my OB/Gyn.

BTW - it's wonderful being out estrogen!...seriously
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:41 PM   #10
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So sorry to hijack this thread, but may I please ask a heart rate question? Sometimes in the middle of the night, my heart beats so fast that I think I can hear it. One night this week I woke up around 2:00ish, and my heart was beating so hard and fast that I couldn't go back to sleep. I felt fine, otherwise, but this is scary. After an hour or so of listening to my heart thump, I finally fell asleep and by morning, heart rate seemed normal. This has happened a few other times. I'm a 51 y/o female, slim, no health problems and exercise 4-5 times per week. Should I be concerned?
Have you actually taken your pulse rate for 30 seconds or so?

A perception of a rapid or irregular heart beat defines palpitations but sometimes that only represents an exaggerated awareness rather than a true heart rhythm problem.

These are often pretty easy to sort out with either a Holter monitor (continuous for 24-48 hours, a recored constant EKG in a small electronic package) or an "event monitor" where you simply press a button when you feel the symptoms.

In otherwise healthy people this usually ends up as something pretty benign and/or easily treated. But I'd check it out just so you know what's going on.
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:40 AM   #11
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Have you actually taken your pulse rate for 30 seconds or so?

A perception of a rapid or irregular heart beat defines palpitations but sometimes that only represents an exaggerated awareness rather than a true heart rhythm problem.

These are often pretty easy to sort out with either a Holter monitor (continuous for 24-48 hours, a recored constant EKG in a small electronic package) or an "event monitor" where you simply press a button when you feel the symptoms.

In otherwise healthy people this usually ends up as something pretty benign and/or easily treated. But I'd check it out just so you know what's going on.
these were the exact symptons DW had 4 years ago and she was given a monitor to wear for 24 hrs plus other tests. turned out to be stress related and went away when the stress went away. I was travelling a lot abroad, we knew we were moving States and she was leaving work.

Once she knew what it was and that it was not dangerous she felt a whole better as well.

I would see a doctor to set your mind at rest.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:48 AM   #12
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Mine is usually around 55 or throughout the day (on average).
I've checked it occasionally in the morning, and it usually rests around 45.

In any case, as long as I feel a heartrate, I'm pretty sure I'm still alive and kickin'
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